On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 12, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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We need to live a life in the Spirit and allow the Lord our God to lead us, for His way is better! How can we pray ‘Let Your thoughts be my thoughts and Your words be my words’ otherwise?

If we live a life in the Spirit then we will bring with us love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, truthfulness, gentleness and self -control whereever we go. We will change every toxic environment we step into and bring our Lord’s light to every corner of darkness! For we are His flock we listen follow after Him and we bring Jesus into every situation.

This is a vision I saw on my way to work yesterday. A dove flying with a palm leaf in its beak. And for me it was a call for us to live a life filled with the Holy Spirit so that we shall lay the palm at His feet and glorify Him by our lives!

Instruct me, Lord, in your way; on an even path lead me. Amen (PS 26:11)

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First reading

Galatians 5:18-25 ·

To belong to Christ, crucify all self-indulgence

If you are led by the Spirit, no law can touch you. When self-indulgence is at work the results are obvious: fornication, gross indecency and sexual irresponsibility; idolatry and sorcery; feuds and wrangling, jealousy, bad temper and quarrels; disagreements, factions, envy; drunkenness, orgies and similar things. I warn you now, as I warned you before: those who behave like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. What the Spirit brings is very different: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness and self-control. There can be no law against things like that, of course. You cannot belong to Christ Jesus unless you crucify all self-indulgent passions and desires.

    Since the Spirit is our life, let us be directed by the Spirit.

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Gospel

Luke 11:42-46

You overlook justice and the love of God

The Lord said to the Pharisees: ‘Alas for you Pharisees! You who pay your tithe of mint and rue and all sorts of garden herbs and overlook justice and the love of God! These you should have practised, without leaving the others undone. Alas for you Pharisees who like taking the seats of honour in the synagogues and being greeted obsequiously in the market squares! Alas for you, because you are like the unmarked tombs that men walk on without knowing it!

    A lawyer then spoke up. ‘Master,’ he said ‘when you speak like this you insult us too.’

    ‘Alas for you lawyers also,’ he replied ‘because you load on men burdens that are unendurable, burdens that you yourselves do not move a finger to lift.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 11, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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There are many good things that we do out of habit or ritually like praying the rosary or set prayers from a beloved prayer book which is all good; but if it does not change us to be more loving towards others or to be more Christlike, to bring His peace love and joy, then are we truly living life in the Spirit as we are called to?

Are we only concerned about how others see us? That we must be seen to pray most piously when looked upon? Or to offer loud ostentatious greetings in Church or in other similar settings? Nay! For what comes from within through Christ Jesus our Lord is far better than anything we can see with our eyes or hear. Such as the beautiful glow about a sister and brother in Christ so in love with our Lord. Or when we hear him or her speak, it is as though Jesus is speaking to our hearts. This is what we must strive for! This is what we must bring into the world! Then we will indeed see His glory working through us all to bring gather all that have been scattered and living in darkness.

Lord make me a channel of Your peace in the world. Amen

Saint John XXIII, Pope pray for us…

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First reading

Galatians 5:1-6 ·

It is faith, not the Law, that justifies us

When Christ freed us, he meant us to remain free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery. It is I, Paul, who tell you this: if you allow yourselves to be circumcised, Christ will be of no benefit to you at all. With all solemnity I repeat my warning: Everyone who accepts circumcision is obliged to keep the whole Law. But if you do look to the Law to make you justified, then you have separated yourselves from Christ, and have fallen from grace. Christians are told by the Spirit to look to faith for those rewards that righteousness hopes for, since in Christ Jesus whether you are circumcised or not makes no difference – what matters is faith that makes its power felt through love.

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Gospel

Luke 11:37-41

Give thanks for what you have and it will all be clean

Jesus had just finished speaking when a Pharisee invited him to dine at his house. He went in and sat down at the table. The Pharisee saw this and was surprised that he had not first washed before the meal. But the Lord said to him, ‘Oh, you Pharisees! You clean the outside of cup and plate, while inside yourselves you are filled with extortion and wickedness. Fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside too? Instead, give alms from what you have and then indeed everything will be clean for you.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 10, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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The victory over sin and death has already been won for us by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. And we have been set free to live free in His love. He nourishes and equips us each day through His Word as we go forth to share His love with everyone we meet.

We dear sisters and brothers are the signs of God our Father’s love in the world! As all will see through our own conversion, how we are conformed to the image of His Son. (RM 8:29) How we love them with His love and how we bring His peace and joy into their hearts.

Lord Jesus let me be Your light in the world, as I live in the light of Your resurrection. Amen

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First reading

Galatians 4:22-24,26-27,31-5:1

Christ freed us: do not submit again to slavery

The Law says, if you remember, that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave-girl, and one by his free-born wife. The child of the slave-girl was born in the ordinary way; the child of the free woman was born as the result of a promise. This can be regarded as an allegory: the women stand for the two covenants. The first who comes from Mount Sinai, and whose children are slaves, is Hagar. The Jerusalem above, however, is free and is our mother, since scripture says: Shout for joy, you barren women who bore no children! Break into shouts of joy and gladness, you who were never in labour. For there are more sons of the forsaken one than sons of the wedded wife. So, my brothers, we are the children, not of the slave-girl, but of the free-born wife.

    When Christ freed us, he meant us to remain free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.

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Gospel

Luke 11:29-32

As Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be a sign

The crowds got even bigger, and Jesus addressed them:

    ‘This is a wicked generation; it is asking for a sign. The only sign it will be given is the sign of Jonah. For just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. On Judgement day the Queen of the South will rise up with the men of this generation and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and there is something greater than Solomon here. On Judgement day the men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation and condemn it, because when Jonah preached they repented; and there is something greater than Jonah here.’

Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: October 8, 2022 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections
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Returning Thanks: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

Readings:

2 Kings 5:14–17

Psalm 98:1–4

2 Timothy 2:8–13

Luke 17:11–19

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A foreign leper is cleansed and in thanksgiving returns to offer homage to the God of Israel. We hear this same story in both the First Reading and Gospel today.

There were many lepers in Israel in Elisha’s time, but only Naaman the Syrian trusted in God’s Word and was cleansed (see Luke 5:12–14). Today’s Gospel likewise implies that most of the ten lepers healed by Jesus were Israelites—but only a foreigner, the Samaritan, returned.

In a dramatic way, we’re being shown today how faith has been made the way to salvation, the road by which all nations will join themselves to the Lord, becoming His servants, gathered with the Israelites into one chosen people of God, the Church (see Isaiah 56:3–8).

Today’s Psalm also looks forward to the day when all peoples will see what Naaman sees—that there is no God in all the earth except the God of Israel.

We see this day arriving in today’s Gospel. The Samaritan leper is the only person in the New Testament who personally thanks Jesus. The Greek word used to describe his “giving thanks” is the word we translate as “Eucharist.”

And these lepers today reveal to us the inner dimensions of the Eucharist and sacramental life.

We, too have been healed by our faith in Jesus. As Naaman’s flesh is made again like that of a little child, our souls have been cleansed of sin in the waters of Baptism. We experience this cleansing again and again in the Sacrament of Penance—as we repent our sins, beg and receive mercy from our Master, Jesus.

We return to glorify God in each Mass, to offer ourselves in sacrifice—falling on our knees before our Lord, giving thanks for our salvation.

In this Eucharist, we remember “Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David,” Israel’s covenant king. And we pray, as Paul does in today’s Epistle, to persevere in this faith—that we too may live and reign with Him in eternal glory.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 8, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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All the nourishment we will ever need is to be found in the Lord our God’s loving Word. And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. We receive Him, Body, Blood, soul and divinity in Holy Eucharist and we become One with and through Him!

So let spend the rest of the day reflecting on how are we in Holy Communion with Him and with one another?

Bless me Jesus this Holy and wonderful Saturday, embrace me sweet Jesus I am Yours and You are mine.  Amen

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First reading

Galatians 3:22-29 ·

There are no more distinctions: all are one in Christ Jesus

Scripture makes no exceptions when it says that sin is master everywhere. In this way the promise can only be given through faith in Jesus Christ and can only be given to those who have this faith.

    Before faith came, we were allowed no freedom by the Law; we were being looked after till faith was revealed. The Law was to be our guardian until the Christ came and we could be justified by faith. Now that that time has come we are no longer under that guardian, and you are, all of you, sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. All baptised in Christ, you have all clothed yourselves in Christ, and there are no more distinctions between Jew and Greek, slave and free, male and female, but all of you are one in Christ Jesus. Merely by belonging to Christ you are the posterity of Abraham, the heirs he was promised.

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Gospel

Luke 11:27-28

‘Happy the womb that bore you and the breasts you sucked!’

As Jesus was speaking, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said, ‘Happy the womb that bore you and the breasts you sucked!’ But he replied, ‘Still happier those who hear the word of God and keep it!’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 7, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Hand of a god-like creature pointing with finger.

Retreat after retreat, formation, after formation, and at every Eucharistic Celebration, the Lord our God heals you, embraces you and sets you free to live fully in His love. Empowered, how do you go living a renewed life in the Spirit? Or do you go back into your daily routines as before thinking it felt good but don’t let it get to your head? Yes, I have received but wasn’t it for me alone? How am I going to share with others? Who will receive? Why would they want to listen to what I have to say? Whose voice is it that you hear that seeks to scatter?

Rely on faith and act in faith! That is just what I did after attending an intensive training under School of Faith. At first I thought, I was going to simply host the first in-person session of a series of basic Christian formation which will lead to an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The first four was done via zoom while this fifth one onwards was live and in person. Then later I was requested to also lead the worship session, while supported by fellow sisters and a brother who would play the guitar and sing. In obedience to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, I agreed and decided to be fully Spirit led. I left the worship songs to them but gave simple directions of how we were going to proceed. The theme of the Session was ‘How we can turn back to God?’ While on the train, I asked the Lord to show me a passage that I might pray or proclaim to His flock and just as I opened my bible the word psalm 32 came to mind. I flipped it to Psalm 32 and was amazed! Next question was when would I share this? When the session started, I began to feel our Lord’s amazing presence as we worshipped Him in prayer and song. It was after the first worship song I shared the Psalm 32 with the group. And after the second worship song I was prompted to start with a simple activation. Jesus was present to love and embrace everyone in the room.

After the sharing of a testimony and the talk we broke of into two groups to share on the topic at hand. The other group seemed very much alive with joy while they shared and laughter could be heard every now and then. Ours was by far different, the sharing was more solemn and heartfelt. Healing and deliverance was taking place. A lady in our group was sharing just how painful it was for her to lose her son to cancer and while the Lord has seen her through it, there is still lingering pain every now and then. Before sharing a vision I got, I sought confirmation from her other son seating beside me. I asked him if his brother liked wearing caps, because I saw a vision of a young man wearing a cap beside Jesus, looking down and smiling at his mother who was pouring her heart out to us. He wanted to assure her that He was with Jesus and has been praying for her and his siblings. Two others then shared similarly painful yet different accounts of what was going on in their lives. Then the daughter of the earlier lady who was also present shared her excruciating journey back to Jesus after her brother had passed on. I saw a word. ‘Love’ in front of her and shared it with her after her sharing. She was not only deeply loved by our Lord but she that she was filled with so much love to share with the world. And that she is going to be a great instrument of His grace and love for others. For she could reach others with similar pains in their lives in a very unique way and loving them into His Kingdom.

What a truly amazing and wonderful, spirit filled session! All praise to Jesus!

Rely on Faith and Act in Faith! Amen

Our Lady of the Rosary pray for us…

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First reading

Galatians 3:7-14 ·

The sons of Abraham are those who rely on faith

Don’t you see that it is those who rely on faith who are the sons of Abraham? Scripture foresaw that God was going to use faith to justify the pagans, and proclaimed the Good News long ago when Abraham was told: In you all the pagans will be blessed. Those therefore who rely on faith receive the same blessing as Abraham, the man of faith.

    On the other hand, those who rely on the keeping of the Law are under a curse, since scripture says: Cursed be everyone who does not persevere in observing everything prescribed in the book of the Law. The Law will not justify anyone in the sight of God, because we are told: the righteous man finds life through faith. The Law is not even based on faith, since we are told: The man who practises these precepts finds life through practising them. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law by being cursed for our sake, since scripture says: Cursed be everyone who is hanged on a tree. This was done so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might include the pagans, and so that through faith we might receive the promised Spirit.

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Gospel

Luke 11:15-26

The finger of God has overtaken you

When Jesus had cast out a devil, some of the people said, ‘It is through Beelzebul, the prince of devils, that he casts out devils.’ Others asked him, as a test, for a sign from heaven; but, knowing what they were thinking, he said to them, ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is heading for ruin, and a household divided against itself collapses. So too with Satan: if he is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand? – since you assert that it is through Beelzebul that I cast out devils. Now if it is through Beelzebul that I cast out devils, through whom do your own experts cast them out? Let them be your judges then. But if it is through the finger of God that I cast out devils, then know that the kingdom of God has overtaken you. So long as a strong man fully armed guards his own palace, his goods are undisturbed; but when someone stronger than he is attacks and defeats him, the stronger man takes away all the weapons he relied on and shares out his spoil.

    ‘He who is not with me is against me; and he who does not gather with me scatters.

    ‘When an unclean spirit goes out of a man it wanders through waterless country looking for a place to rest, and not finding one it says, “I will go back to the home I came from.” But on arrival, finding it swept and tidied, it then goes off and brings seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and set up house there, so that the man ends up by being worse than he was before.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 6, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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In a different light today’s reading is reminding us that every Eucharistic Celebration and community prayer meeting that we attend must change us from within. For we have Jesus, present with and within us! We all should already be living lives in the Spirit prophesying, healing, sharing words of wisdom, knowledge even deliverance. For it is by faith that we step out to do all these according to His Will for us.

Every day is an opportunity to Glorify the Lord by our lives and if we lack anything in doing so, we should simply pray persistently with all our heart. For the Lord our God promises us when He said, “How much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!’”

Thank You loving Father, thank You Jesus, thank You Holy Spirit. I have received, I am empowered, and I will go! Amen Alleluia!

Saint Bruno pray for us… 

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First reading

Galatians 3:1-5 ·

You received the Spirit because you believed what was preached

Are you people in Galatia mad? Has someone put a spell on you, in spite of the plain explanation you have had of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ? Let me ask you one question: was it because you practised the Law that you received the Spirit, or because you believed what was preached to you? Are you foolish enough to end in outward observances what you began in the Spirit? Have all the favours you received been wasted? And if this were so, they would most certainly have been wasted. Does God give you the Spirit so freely and work miracles among you because you practise Law, or because you believed what was preached to you?

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Gospel

Luke 11:5-13

Ask, and it will be given to you

Jesus said to his disciples:

    ‘Suppose one of you has a friend and goes to him in the middle of the night to say, “My friend, lend me three loaves, because a friend of mine on his travels has just arrived at my house and I have nothing to offer him”; and the man answers from inside the house, “Do not bother me. The door is bolted now, and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up to give it you.” I tell you, if the man does not get up and give it him for friendship’s sake, persistence will be enough to make him get up and give his friend all he wants.

    ‘So I say to you: Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For the one who asks always receives; the one who searches always finds; the one who knocks will always have the door opened to him. What father among you would hand his son a stone when he asked for bread? Or hand him a snake instead of a fish? Or hand him a scorpion if he asked for an egg? If you then, who are evil, know how to give your children what is good, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 5, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Are we not love everyone into our Lord’s Kingdom? Are we the ones to decide who is worthy or not worthy of our time? Do we sit far away from sinners or those whom we think might influence our ways?

This will never happen if we are truly walking in our Lord’s presence and in the power of the Holy Spirit. As we walk and talk, we shall always bring the joy of the Gospel with us.

When we pray, we pray as Jesus taught us and that first and foremost, we Bless and honour God our Heavenly Father for all that He has done and will do, for love of us. 

Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”  (John 5:19) Likewise we will now only do what we Jesus has done, continues to do and more. Just as Jesus was merciful to us by dying on the cross, so too shall we be merciful to those who have wronged us.

Take me deeper, Deeper in love with You Jesus. Hold me close in Your embrace. Amen

Saint Faustina Kowalska pray for us… 

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First reading

Galatians 2:1-2,7-14

They recognised the grace that God had given me

It was not till fourteen years had passed that I went up to Jerusalem again. I went with Barnabas and took Titus with me. I went there as the result of a revelation, and privately I laid before the leading men the Good News as I proclaim it among the pagans; I did so for fear the course I was adopting or had already adopted would not be allowed. On the contrary, they recognised that I had been commissioned to preach the Good News to the uncircumcised just as Peter had been commissioned to preach it to the circumcised. The same person whose action had made Peter the apostle of the circumcised had given me a similar mission to the pagans. So, James, Cephas and John, these leaders, these pillars, shook hands with Barnabas and me as a sign of partnership: we were to go to the pagans and they to the circumcised. The only thing they insisted on was that we should remember to help the poor, as indeed I was anxious to do.

    When Cephas came to Antioch, however, I opposed him to his face, since he was manifestly in the wrong. His custom had been to eat with the pagans, but after certain friends of James arrived he stopped doing this and kept away from them altogether for fear of the group that insisted on circumcision. The other Jews joined him in this pretence, and even Barnabas felt himself obliged to copy their behaviour.

    When I saw they were not respecting the true meaning of the Good News, I said to Cephas in front of everyone, ‘In spite of being a Jew, you live like the pagans and not like the Jews, so you have no right to make the pagans copy Jewish ways.’

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Gospel

Luke 11:1-4

How to pray

Once Jesus was in a certain place praying, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.’

    He said to them, ‘Say this when you pray:

‘“Father, may your name be held holy,

your kingdom come;

give us each day our daily bread,

and forgive us our sins,

for we ourselves forgive each one who is in debt to us.

And do not put us to the test.”’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 4, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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walter#2, 1/3/70, 12:35 PM, 8C, 7704×10771 (838+606), 150%, paintings, 1/10 s, R72.3, G61.8, B75.5

How many of us have faced criticism for being Catholic, of being religious and ritualistic? Or in turn criticised our sisters and brothers in Christs outside of the Catholic Church for not having the fullness of faith? Who is it that seeks to divide us? Afterall our Lord Jesus prays for us to be One just as He and the Heavenly Father are one.

We have all been sent! (The term apostle is derived from Classical Greek ἀπόστολος (apóstolos), meaning “one who is sent off”, from στέλλειν (“stellein”), “to send” + από (apó), “off, away from”.) Sent to do what? Jesus commands us to e go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, even to the end of the age. (Matt 28:19-20)

In today’s Gospel we are reminded that in our zeal to go out and do good works which is very much needed, we must first be in the presence of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. Before we can minister to others we must first be ministered by Him. Nourished by His Word, grace filled with the Holy Spirit we can then go out bringing His presence with us. Amen

Saint Francis of Assisi pray for us…

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First reading

Galatians 1:13-24 ·

God called me through his grace and chose to reveal his Son in me

You must have heard of my career as a practising Jew, how merciless I was in persecuting the Church of God, how much damage I did to it, how I stood out among other Jews of my generation, and how enthusiastic I was for the traditions of my ancestors.

    Then God, who had specially chosen me while I was still in my mother’s womb, called me through his grace and chose to reveal his Son in me, so that I might preach the Good News about him to the pagans. I did not stop to discuss this with any human being, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were already apostles before me, but I went off to Arabia at once and later went straight back from there to Damascus. Even when after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and stayed with him for fifteen days, I did not see any of the other apostles; I only saw James, the brother of the Lord, and I swear before God that what I have just written is the literal truth. After that I went to Syria and Cilicia, and was still not known by sight to the churches of Christ in Judaea, who had heard nothing except that their one-time persecutor was now preaching the faith he had previously tried to destroy; and they gave glory to God for me.

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Gospel

Luke 10:38-42

Martha works; Mary listens

Jesus came to a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. She had a sister called Mary, who sat down at the Lord’s feet and listened to him speaking. Now Martha who was distracted with all the serving said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister is leaving me to do the serving all by myself? Please tell her to help me.’ But the Lord answered: ‘Martha, Martha,’ he said ‘you worry and fret about so many things, and yet few are needed, indeed only one. It is Mary who has chosen the better part; it is not to be taken from her.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 3, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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If we want to know the mind of Jesus, then we receive His Word through His heart and be led by the Holy Spirit; that is the only way in which we will live the Gospel in our lives. We become eager and willing to share the Good News which will transform lives!

If we look through the eyes of Jesus, we will see our neighbour! We see through His compassionate and loving eyes. The poor, the widowed, the orphan, the downcast, outcast, poor in spirit and so on; regardless of race, language, sexual orientation and religion. We love them first just as He first loved us.

Lord Jesus let me see and love my neighbour as I am called to through Your love and grace Amen.

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First reading

Galatians 1:6-12 ·

The Good News I preached is not a human message but from Jesus Christ

I am astonished at the promptness with which you have turned away from the one who called you and have decided to follow a different version of the Good News. Not that there can be more than one Good News; it is merely that some troublemakers among you want to change the Good News of Christ; and let me warn you that if anyone preaches a version of the Good News different from the one we have already preached to you, whether it be ourselves or an angel from heaven, he is to be condemned. I am only repeating what we told you before: if anyone preaches a version of the Good News different from the one you have already heard, he is to be condemned. So now whom am I trying to please – man, or God? Would you say it is men’s approval I am looking for? If I still wanted that, I should not be what I am – a servant of Christ.

    The fact is, brothers, and I want you to realise this, the Good News I preached is not a human message that I was given by men, it is something I learnt only through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

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Gospel

Luke 10:25-37

The good Samaritan

There was a lawyer who, to disconcert Jesus, stood up and said to him, ‘Master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ He said to him, ‘What is written in the Law? What do you read there?’ He replied, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself.’ ‘You have answered right,’ said Jesus ‘do this and life is yours.’

    But the man was anxious to justify himself and said to Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbour?’ Jesus replied, ‘A man was once on his way down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell into the hands of brigands; they took all he had, beat him and then made off, leaving him half dead. Now a priest happened to be travelling down the same road, but when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. In the same way a Levite who came to the place saw him, and passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan traveller who came upon him was moved with compassion when he saw him. He went up and bandaged his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them. He then lifted him on to his own mount, carried him to the inn and looked after him. Next day, he took out two denarii and handed them to the innkeeper. “Look after him,” he said “and on my way back I will make good any extra expense you have.” Which of these three, do you think, proved himself a neighbour to the man who fell into the brigands‘ hands?’ ‘The one who took pity on him’ he replied. Jesus said to him, ‘Go, and do the same yourself.’


Life by Faith: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Habakkuk 1:2–3; 2:2–4

Psalm 95:1–2, 6–9

2 Timothy 1:6–8, 13–14

Luke 17:5–10

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Because of his faith, the just man shall live. We hear in today’s First Reading the original prophetic line made so central by St. Paul (see Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38).

We are to live by faith in Christ who loved us and gave Himself on the Cross for us (see Galatians 2:20).

The world, though, can seem to us as seventh-century Judah seemed to Habakkuk—in the control of God’s enemies. The strife and discord we face in our own lives can sometimes cause us to wonder, as the prophet does, why God doesn’t seem to hear or intervene when we cry for help.

We can’t let our hearts be hardened by the trials we undergo. As today’s Psalm reminds us: Israel forgot His mighty works, lost faith in the sound words of His promise. They tested God in the desert, demanding a sign.

But God didn’t redeem Israel from Egypt only to let them die in the desert. And He didn’t ransom us from futility only to abandon us in our trials. He is our God and we are the people He shepherds always—though at times His mercy and justice seem long delayed.

If we call on the Lord, as the Apostles do in today’s Gospel, He will increase our faith, will stir to a flame the Holy Spirit who has dwelt within us since Baptism.

As Paul tells us in today’s Epistle, the Lord will always give us the love and self-control we need to bear our share of hardship for the Gospel—with a strength that can come from God alone.

Our task is to continue doing what He has commanded—to love and to build up His kingdom—trusting that His vision still presses on to its fulfillment.

For His vision still has its time. One day, though we are but “unprofitable servants,” we will be invited to eat and drink at our Master’s table. It is that day we anticipate with each celebration of the Eucharist.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 1, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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When we are in right relationship with God our loving Father and living in the presence of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ then truly our hearts are filled with joy by the Holy Spirit. Our hearts desire is to be One with Him and one another in Holy Communion.

And we will go on to do great things to glory Him by our lives! For we know our names are written in Heaven. We are His Priests, Prophets and Kings! Most of all we are His children so loved by Him. Amen

Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus Pray for us…

________

First reading

Job 42:1-3,5-6,12-17

In dust and in ashes I repent

This was the answer Job gave to the Lord:

I know that you are all-powerful:

    what you conceive, you can perform.

I am the man who obscured your designs

    with my empty-headed words.

I have been holding forth on matters I cannot understand,

    on marvels beyond me and my knowledge.

I knew you then only by hearsay;

    but now, having seen you with my own eyes,

I retract all I have said,

    and in dust and ashes I repent.

The Lord blessed Job’s new fortune even more than his first one. He came to own fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand she-donkeys. He had seven sons and three daughters; his first daughter he called ‘Turtledove’, the second ‘Cassia’ and the third ‘Mascara.’ Throughout the land there were no women as beautiful as the daughters of Job. And their father gave them inheritance rights like their brothers.

    After his trials, Job lived on until he was a hundred and forty years old, and saw his children and his children’s children up to the fourth generation. Then Job died, an old man and full of days.

________

Gospel

Luke 10:17-24

Rejoice that your names are written in heaven

The seventy-two came back rejoicing. ‘Lord,’ they said ‘even the devils submit to us when we use your name.’ He said to them, ‘I watched Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Yes, I have given you power to tread underfoot serpents and scorpions and the whole strength of the enemy; nothing shall ever hurt you. Yet do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you; rejoice rather that your names are written in heaven.’

    It was then that, filled with joy by the Holy Spirit, he said:

    ‘I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children. Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased you to do. Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.’

    Then turning to his disciples he spoke to them in private, ‘Happy the eyes that see what you see, for I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see, and never saw it; to hear what you hear, and never heard it.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 30, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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How Great is our God! Indeed merciful, loving and ever living Lord and God; Father almighty, You have given us Your only begotten Son that we might have life to the full!

Forgive our past stubbornness of heart, we accept Jesus fully into our lives and have been changed from within by the power of His life, death and resurrection. Through Him we have been restored as Sons and Daughters so loved by You. Through Jesus we claim our Heavenly inheritance for we have been anointed Priest, Prophet and King!

Let us therefore go out into the world as beacons of His light, and bring healing and revival to the ends of the earth! Through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

First reading

Job 38:1,12-21,40:3-5 ·

The immeasurable greatness of God

From the heart of the tempest the Lord gave Job his answer. He said:

Have you ever in your life given orders to the morning

    or sent the dawn to its post,

telling it to grasp the earth by its edges

    and shake the wicked out of it,

when it changes the earth to sealing clay

    and dyes it as a man dyes clothes;

stealing the light from wicked men

    and breaking the arm raised to strike?

Have you journeyed all the way to the sources of the sea,

    or walked where the Abyss is deepest?

Have you been shown the gates of Death

    or met the janitors of Shadowland?

Have you an inkling of the extent of the earth?

    Tell me all about it if you have!

Which is the way to the home of the light,

    and where does darkness live?

You could then show them the way to their proper places,

    or put them on the path to where they live!

If you know all this, you must have been born with them,

    you must be very old by now!

Job replied to the Lord:

My words have been frivolous: what can I reply?

    I had better lay my finger on my lips.

I have spoken once… I will not speak again;

    more than once… I will add nothing.

Gospel

Luke 10:13-16

Anyone who rejects me rejects the one who sent me

Jesus said to his disciples:

    ‘Alas for you, Chorazin! Alas for you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. And still, it will not go as hard with Tyre and Sidon at the Judgement as with you. And as for you, Capernaum, did you want to be exalted high as heaven? You shall be thrown down to hell.

    ‘Anyone who listens to you listens to me; anyone who rejects you rejects me, and those who reject me reject the one who sent me.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 29, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Yes, indeed Angels are on hand to aid us on our pilgrim journey home. How sad that very few embrace this truth and ask for their help especially the help of their very own guardian angels.

Many a time when facing a potentially dangerous situation or terrible accident I have felt the presence of my guardian angel who helped me avoid it. For instance, I missed a step while looking at my phone and walking down a long flight of steps, and somehow managed to grab hold of the railing. While I twisted my ankle a little, was otherwise unscathed! Praise the Lord! Another incident happened many years back when my canoe capsized, and I wasn’t wearing a life jacket. The sea water was rough and I almost drowned. I drank a fair bit of water and while struggling I stayed afloat with help from an unseen hand; till a friend from another canoe came to lend a hand and passed me my life jacket that was floating in the water. And there have been many other situations over the years.

Today as we celebrate the feast day of these powerful Archangels who are still helping mankind throughout history and even today, let us pray that we all may be reunited in Heaven glorifying the Lord of hosts. Amen

Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, Archangels Pray for us… 

First reading

Daniel 7:9-10,13-14 ·

His robe was white as snow

As I watched:

Thrones were set in place

and one of great age took his seat.

His robe was white as snow,

the hair of his head as pure as wool.

His throne was a blaze of flames,

its wheels were a burning fire.

A stream of fire poured out,

issuing from his presence.

A thousand thousand waited on him,

ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.

A court was held

and the books were opened.

I gazed into the visions of the night.

And I saw, coming on the clouds of heaven,

one like a son of man.

He came to the one of great age

and was led into his presence.

On him was conferred sovereignty,

glory and kingship,

and men of all peoples, nations and languages became his servants.

His sovereignty is an eternal sovereignty

which shall never pass away,

nor will his empire ever be destroyed.

 

Gospel

John 1:47-51

You will see heaven laid open, and the Son of Man

When Jesus saw Nathanael coming he said of him, ‘There is an Israelite who deserves the name, incapable of deceit.’ ‘How do you know me?’ said Nathanael. ‘Before Philip came to call you,’ said Jesus ‘I saw you under the fig tree.’ Nathanael answered, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are the King of Israel.’ Jesus replied, ‘You believe that just because I said: I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.’ And then he added ‘I tell you most solemnly, you will see heaven laid open and, above the Son of Man, the angels of God ascending and descending.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 28, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Our Father is the King of the Universe, all power, might and Glory is His now and forever! We are His sons and daughters created in His image coheirs in glory with Christ! How then are we living out this truth having been anointed at our baptism and again at our confirmation? Have we even embraced this truth? Are we already exercising the gifts of the Holy Spirit to build His Kingdom?

Are you done with giving excuse after excuse for not taking up your cross to follow after our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? No time, not holy enough, not prayerful enough? What else is there? If Jesus is truly the way, the truth and the life for all of us then how can we tarry in following Him, the Lord of lords, King of kings! Progress not perfection, for we shall only truly be perfected through Christ our Lord. Our duty is to simply go and spread the news of the kingdom of God, so that all who come to believe in Jesus will have hope of eternally life with Him. Amen

________

First reading

Job 9:1-13,14-16

How can man be in the right against God?

Job spoke to his friends:

Indeed, I know it is as you say:

    how can man be in the right against God?

If any were so rash as to challenge him for reasons,

    one in a thousand would be more than they could answer.

His heart is wise, and his strength is great:

    who then can successfully defy him?

He moves the mountains, though they do not know it;

    he throws them down when he is angry.

He shakes the earth, and moves it from its place,

    making all its pillars tremble.

The sun, at his command, forbears to rise,

    and on the stars he sets a seal.

He and no other stretched out the skies,

    and trampled the Sea’s tall waves.

The Bear, Orion too, are of his making,

    the Pleiades and the Mansions of the South.

His works are great, beyond all reckoning,

    his marvels, past all counting.

Were he to pass me, I should not see him,

    nor detect his stealthy movement.

Were he to snatch a prize, who could prevent him,

    or dare to say, ‘What are you doing?’

How dare I plead my cause, then,

    or choose arguments against him?

Suppose I am in the right, what use is my defence?

    For he whom I must sue is judge as well.

If he deigned to answer my citation,

    could I be sure that he would listen to my voice?

Gospel

Luke 9:57-62

‘I will follow you wherever you go’

As Jesus and his disciples travelled along they met a man on the road who said to him, ‘I will follow you wherever you go.’ Jesus answered, ‘Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.’

    Another to whom he said, ‘Follow me’, replied, ‘Let me go and bury my father first.’ But he answered, ‘Leave the dead to bury their dead; your duty is to go and spread the news of the kingdom of God.’

    Another said, ‘I will follow you, sir, but first let me go and say goodbye to my people at home.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Once the hand is laid on the plough, no one who looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 27, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Have we not had trials and tribulations in our lives? Are there not moments in our lives where we feel all alone, lost and in a dark tunnel with no way out? Know then that our Lord Jesus Christ is with us through it all! And so we cry out to Him, “Let my prayer come into Your Presence, O Lord.”

For Jesus is life and always and above is life giving, His precious blood poured out for us many, gives us life to the full! Can we disciples after the heart of Jesus do any less? Do we allow ourselves to seek revenge for any injustice we may face? Nay! We shall turn all curses into Blessings by Blessing those who curse us!

Jesus grant me Your Grace to be life giving in all that I say and do. Amen

Saint Vincent de Paul pray for us…

First reading

Job 3:1-3,11-17,20-23 ·

Why did I not perish on the day I was born?

Job broke the silence and cursed the day of his birth. This is what he said:

May the day perish when I was born,

    and the night that told of a boy conceived.

Why did I not die new-born,

    not perish as I left the womb?

Why were there two knees to receive me,

    two breasts for me to suck?

Had there not been, I should now be lying in peace,

    wrapped in a restful slumber,

with the kings and high viziers of earth

    who build themselves vast vaults,

or with princes who have gold and to spare

    and houses crammed with silver.

Or put away like a still-born child that never came to be,

    like unborn babes that never see the light.

Down there, bad men bustle no more,

    there the weary rest.

Why give light to a man of grief?

    Why give life to those bitter of heart,

who long for a death that never comes,

    and hunt for it more than for a buried treasure?

They would be glad to see the grave-mound

    and shout with joy if they reached the tomb.

Why make this gift of light to a man who does not see his way,

    whom God baulks on every side?

Gospel

Luke 9:51-56

Jesus sets out for Jerusalem

As the time drew near for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely took the road for Jerusalem and sent messengers ahead of him. These set out, and they went into a Samaritan village to make preparations for him, but the people would not receive him because he was making for Jerusalem. Seeing this, the disciples James and John said, ‘Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to burn them up?’ But he turned and rebuked them, and they went off to another village.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 26, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Today’s First reading is not quite easy to understand if we read or see it in human terms. Let us allow the Holy Spirit to lead us and reveal the heart of God….

Who is the author of life itself, if not the Lord our God, so indeed Blessed be the name of the Lord! For God so loved the world that He gave us His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will have eternal life. And so as a beloved child of God my Heavenly Father so love by Him, I can do greater things for Him through Jesus His Son my Saviour. For I am a servant of my brethren and a humble servant of the Lord my God.

You and I are the nameless man in today’s Gospel, for truly having childlike faith in the Lord our God we too can cast our devils in Jesus name! For it is written, “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” Amen (Mark 16:17-18)

 

First reading

Job 1:6-22 ·

The Lord gave, the Lord has taken back: blessed be the name of the Lord

One day the Sons of God came to attend on the Lord, and among them was Satan. So the Lord said to Satan, ‘Where have you been?’ ‘Round the earth,’ he answered ‘roaming about.’ So the Lord asked him, ‘Did you notice my servant Job? There is no one like him on the earth: a sound and honest man who fears God and shuns evil.’ ‘Yes,’ Satan said ‘but Job is not God-fearing for nothing, is he? Have you not put a wall round him and his house and all his domain? You have blessed all he undertakes, and his flocks throng the countryside. But stretch out your hand and lay a finger on his possessions: I warrant you, he will curse you to your face.’ ‘Very well,’ the Lord said to Satan ‘all he has is in your power. But keep your hands off his person.’ So Satan left the presence of the Lord.

    On the day when Job’s sons and daughters were at their meal and drinking wine at their eldest brother’s house, a messenger came to Job. ‘Your oxen’ he said ‘were at the plough, with the donkeys grazing at their side, when the Sabaeans swept down on them and carried them off. Your servants they put to the sword: I alone escaped to tell you.’ He had not finished speaking when another messenger arrived. ‘The fire of God’ he said ‘has fallen from the heavens and burnt up all your sheep, and your shepherds too: I alone escaped to tell you.’ He had not finished speaking when another messenger arrived. ‘The Chaldaeans,’ he said ‘three bands of them, have raided your camels and made off with them. Your servants they put to the sword: I alone escaped to tell you.’ He had not finished speaking when another messenger arrived. ‘Your sons and daughters’ he said ‘were at their meal and drinking wine at their eldest brother’s house, when suddenly from the wilderness a gale sprang up, and it battered all four corners of the house which fell in on the young people. They are dead: I alone escaped to tell you.’

    Job rose and tore his gown and shaved his head. Then falling to the ground he worshipped and said:

‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb,

naked I shall return.

The Lord gave, the Lord has taken back.

Blessed be the name of the Lord!’

In all this misfortune Job committed no sin nor offered any insult to God.

Gospel

Luke 9:46-50

The least among you all is the greatest

An argument started between the disciples about which of them was the greatest. Jesus knew what thoughts were going through their minds, and he took a little child and set him by his side and then said to them, ‘Anyone who welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For the least among you all, that is the one who is great.’

    John spoke up. ‘Master,’ he said ‘we saw a man casting out devils in your name, and because he is not with us we tried to stop him.’ But Jesus said to him, ‘You must not stop him: anyone who is not against you is for you.’

26th Sunday In Ordinary Time

Posted: September 24, 2022 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections
Tags: ,

A Great Chasm: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

Readings:

Amos 6:1, 4–7

Psalm 146:7–10

1 Timothy 6:11–16

Luke 16:19–31

________________________________________

The rich and powerful are visited with woe and exile in today’s Liturgy—not for their wealth but for their refusal to share it; not for their power but for their indifference to the suffering at their door.

The complacent leaders in today’s First Reading feast on fine foods and wines, reveling while the house of Joseph, the kingdom of Israel (see Amos 5:6), collapses around them.

The rich man in today’s Gospel also lives like a king—dressed in royal purple and fine linen (see 1 Maccabees 8:14).

The rich man symbolizes Israel’s failure to keep the Old Covenant, to heed the commandments of Moses and the prophets. This is the sin of the rulers in today’s First Reading. Born to the nation God favored first, they could claim Abraham as their father. But for their failure to give—their inheritance is taken away.

The rulers are exiled from their homeland. The rich man is punished with an exile far greater—eternity with a “great chasm” fixed between himself and God.

In this world, the rich and powerful make a name for themselves (see Genesis 11:4) and dine sumptuously, while the poor remain anonymous, refused an invitation to their feasts.

But notice that the Lord today knows Lazarus by name, and Joseph in his sufferings—while the leaders and the rich man have no name.

Today’s Liturgy is a call to repentance—to heed the warning of One who was raised from the dead. To lay hold of the eternal life He promises, we must pursue righteousness, keep the commandment

of love, as Paul exhorts in today’s Epistle.

“The Lord loves the just,” we sing in today’s Psalm.

And in this Eucharist we have a foretaste of the love that will be ours in the next life—when He will raise the lowly to the heavenly banquet with Abraham and the prophets (see Luke 13:28), where

we too will rest our heads on the bosom of our Lord (see John 13:23).

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 24, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Youth fades swiftly before you know it you are greying and not as fit as you once was. Perhaps you are already struggling a little daily with aches and pains. Is this the cross that you bear for our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ?

How has it led others closer to Him? How is your suffering for Him redemptive? Have you used your gifts and talents to build up His Kingdom?

Thank You Jesus for loving me. For by Your life, death and resurrection You have set me free to live fully in Your love. Let me follow after You by Your example. Let me win souls for You! Amen

First reading

Ecclesiastes 11:9-12:8 ·

Remember your creator in the days of your youth

Rejoice in your youth, you who are young;

let your heart give you joy in your young days.

Follow the promptings of your heart

and the desires of your eyes.

But this you must know: for all these things God will bring you to judgement.

Cast worry from your heart,

shield your flesh from pain.

Yet youth, the age of dark hair, is vanity. And remember your creator in the days of your youth, before evil days come and the years approach when you say, ‘These give me no pleasure’, before sun and light and moon and stars grow dark, and the clouds return after the rain;

the day when those who keep the house tremble

and strong men are bowed;

when the women grind no longer at the mill,

because day is darkening at the windows

and the street doors are shut;

when the sound of the mill is faint,

when the voice of the bird is silenced,

and song notes are stilled,

when to go uphill is an ordeal

and a walk is something to dread.

Yet the almond tree is in flower,

the grasshopper is heavy with food

and the caper bush bears its fruit,

while man goes to his everlasting home. And the mourners are already walking to and fro in the street

before the silver cord has snapped,

or the golden lamp been broken,

or the pitcher shattered at the spring,

or the pulley cracked at the well,

or before the dust returns to the earth as it once came from it, and the breath to God who gave it.

    Vanity of vanities, the Preacher says. All is vanity.

Gospel

Luke 9:43-45

They were afraid to ask him what he meant

At a time when everyone was full of admiration for all he did, Jesus said to his disciples, ‘For your part, you must have these words constantly in your mind: “The Son of Man is going to be handed over into the power of men.”’ But they did not understand him when he said this; it was hidden from them so that they should not see the meaning of it, and they were afraid to ask him about what he had just said.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 23, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Silhouette Jesus and the sunset

Who are we before Christ our Lord whom we profess to love?

Have we grown in our faith such that we have stepped out in faith to heal, cast out demons and to share the good news that the Kingdom of God is at hand? If not then why not? When is a good time to start if not now?

Did Jesus say go make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and teach them all that I have commanded you….Only when you are holy, only when you are good and ready?

If we profess that Jesus is the Christ of God our Heavenly Father, the anointed One. Then how can we not embrace that we are little Christs conformed to the image of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Anointed and sent by our Baptism into the world  to be fruitful for Him?

Here I am Lord! I stand ready to do Your Will. Amen

Saint Pius of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio) pray for us….

First reading

Ecclesiastes 3:1-11 ·

There is a time for every occupation under heaven

There is a season for everything, a time for every occupation under heaven:

A time for giving birth,

    a time for dying;

    a time for planting,

    a time for uprooting what has been planted.

A time for killing,

    a time for healing;

    a time for knocking down,

    a time for building.

A time for tears,

    a time for laughter;

    a time for mourning,

    a time for dancing.

A time for throwing stones away,

    a time for gathering them up;

    a time for embracing,

    a time to refrain from embracing.

A time for searching,

    a time for losing;

    a time for keeping,

    a time for throwing away.

A time for tearing,

    a time for sewing;

    a time for keeping silent,

    a time for speaking.

A time for loving,

    a time for hating;

    a time for war,

    a time for peace.

What does a man gain for the efforts that he makes? I contemplate the task that God gives mankind to labour at. All that he does is apt for its time; but though he has permitted man to consider time in its wholeness, man cannot comprehend the work of God from beginning to end.

Gospel

Luke 9:18-22

‘You are the Christ of God’

One day when Jesus was praying alone in the presence of his disciples he put this question to them, ‘Who do the crowds say I am?’ And they answered, ‘John the Baptist; others Elijah; and others say one of the ancient prophets come back to life.’ ‘But you,’ he said ‘who do you say I am?’ It was Peter who spoke up. ‘The Christ of God’ he said. But he gave them strict orders not to tell anyone anything about this.

    ‘The Son of Man’ he said ‘is destined to suffer grievously, to be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes and to be put to death, and to be raised up on the third day.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 22, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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All the riches in world, the pleasures we seek, the sights we travel to see, the wealth we work hard to accumulate for our family and our old age amounts to nothing if we don’t a relationship with the Lord our God in our lives. Jesus! Is the greatest treasure this world had and will ever have for generations to come! The joy, peace and love which we find in Him is everlasting.

So instead of living in fear of losing what we possess, of having sinned against men and God, of being suspicious about everything and everyone, of living in anxiety. Why not repent and come to Jesus? For whatever we have done or failed to do, Jesus seeks to set us free. He loved us while we were still sinners and continues to love us each and every day of our lives. He will transform us from within so as to shine brightly for Him in world.

If we are to remembered in this world, let us be remembered for our life lived in Him. Remembered for what we had and continue to have in Jesus. Amen

First reading

Ecclesiastes 1:2-11 ·

Nothing is new and all is vanity

Vanity of vanities, the Preacher says. Vanity of vanities. All is vanity! For all his toil, his toil under the sun, what does man gain by it?

    A generation goes, a generation comes, yet the earth stands firm for ever. The sun rises, the sun sets; then to its place it speeds and there it rises. Southward goes the wind, then turns to the north; it turns and turns again; back then to its circling goes the wind. Into the sea all the rivers go, and yet the sea is never filled, and still to their goal the rivers go. All things are wearisome. No man can say that eyes have not had enough of seeing, ears their fill of hearing. What was will be again; what has been done will be done again; and there is nothing new under the sun. Take anything of which it may be said, ‘Look now, this is new.’ Already, long before our time, it existed. Only no memory remains of earlier times, just as in times to come next year itself will not be remembered.

 

Gospel

Luke 9:7-9

‘John? I beheaded him; so who is this?’

Herod the tetrarch had heard about all that was being done by Jesus; and he was puzzled, because some people were saying that John had risen from the dead, others that Elijah had reappeared, still others that one of the ancient prophets had come back to life. But Herod said, ‘John? I beheaded him. So who is this I hear such reports about?’ And he was anxious to see Jesus.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 21, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Jesus is calling all of us today, to leave everything there is not of Him and to follow after Him. To leave corporations/companies who engage in unscrupulous practices. To leave organisations which act unjustly or act against human dignity and the sanctity of life. Finally, for us all to turn away from all sin and temptation; and to be faithful to the Gospel.

For our loving and merciful Lord did not come to call the virtuous but us sinners. Though Him alone our sonship and daughterhood is restored and we have hope of our Heavenly inheritance that awaits us. Through Him we can love as we ought to, become the best versions of ourselves for Him, for our families and for our brothers and sisters in Him.

Let us therefore lead lives worthy of our vocation. For love of Christ, we will bear with one another charitably, in complete selflessness, gentleness and patience. We will live as One Body in Him in Holy Communion. Amen

Saint Matthew Pray for us…

First reading

Ephesians 4:1-7,11-13 ·

We are all to come to unity, fully mature in the knowledge of the Son of God

I, the prisoner in the Lord, implore you to lead a life worthy of your vocation. Bear with one another charitably, in complete selflessness, gentleness and patience. Do all you can to preserve the unity of the Spirit by the peace that binds you together. There is one Body, one Spirit, just as you were all called into one and the same hope when you were called. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God who is Father of all, over all, through all and within all.

    Each one of us, however, has been given his own share of grace, given as Christ allotted it. To some, his gift was that they should be apostles; to some, prophets; to some, evangelists; to some, pastors and teachers; so that the saints together make a unity in the work of service, building up the body of Christ. In this way we are all to come to unity in our faith and in our knowledge of the Son of God, until we become the perfect Man, fully mature with the fullness of Christ himself.

Gospel

Matthew 9:9-13

It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick

As Jesus was walking on, he saw a man named Matthew sitting by the customs house, and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he got up and followed him.

    While he was at dinner in the house it happened that a number of tax collectors and sinners came to sit at the table with Jesus and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does your master eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ When he heard this he replied, ‘It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick. Go and learn the meaning of the words: What I want is mercy, not sacrifice. And indeed I did not come to call the virtuous, but sinners.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 20, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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The Lord knows our heart and so let us who truly love Him with all our hearts not be fearful. But like flowing river after the heart of our God let us water the land with His living water!

Holiness is not something we strive and attain on our very own. Holiness is a reflection of our deep personal relationship with God our Heavenly Father, His Son and the Holy Spirit. When we hear His Word so clearly each and every day of our lives and live it according to His Word and will for us. All for love of Him and of our brethren.

Find me Holy in my Love for You O Lord, as I serve my Brethren in Your Love and Mercy. Amen

Saints Andrew Kim Taegon, Priest, and Paul Chong Hasang, and their Companions, Pray for us….

First reading

Proverbs 21:1-6,10-13

On wickedness and virtue

Like flowing water is the heart of the king in the hand of the Lord,

    who turns it where he pleases.

A man’s conduct may strike him as upright,

    the Lord, however, weighs the heart.

To act virtuously and with justice

    is more pleasing to the Lord than sacrifice.

Haughty eye, proud heart,

    lamp of the wicked, nothing but sin.

The hardworking man is thoughtful, and all is gain;

    too much haste, and all that comes of it is want.

To make a fortune with the help of a lying tongue,

    such the idle fantasy of those who look for death.

The wicked man’s soul is intent on evil,

    he looks on his neighbour with dislike.

When a mocker is punished, the ignorant man grows wiser,

    when a wise man is instructed he acquires more knowledge.

The Just One watches the house of the wicked:

    he hurls the wicked to destruction.

He who shuts his ear to the poor man’s cry

    shall himself plead and not be heard.

Gospel

Luke 8:19-21

‘My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God’

The mother and the brothers of Jesus came looking for him, but they could not get to him because of the crowd. He was told, ‘Your mother and brothers are standing outside and want to see you.’ But he said in answer, ‘My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and put it into practice.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 19, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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There is no time like the present to do good, without hesitation and with the joy of our Lord. For God is good all the time! Jesus Himself never waited to do good, He never withholds His mercy and love! Was there a Sabbath that prevented Him from doing the works of His Father? No! For He is the Lord of the Sabbath!

We disciples of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ are sent to be His light into the world! When is a good time to share His light with everyone? When is a good time to teach them so that they fully understand just how much the Lord our God loves them when they ask? How clearly do you hear the Lord’s call and will for you?

Bless me Lord, give me a fresh anointing this day so that I stand upon the lampstand of Your love, and Your light in the world. Amen

First reading

Proverbs 3:27-34

The Lord blesses the home of the virtuous

My son, do not refuse a kindness to anyone who begs it,

    if it is in your power to perform it.

Do not say to your neighbour, ‘Go away! Come another time!

    I will give it you tomorrow’, if you can do it now.

Do not plot harm against your neighbour

    as he lives unsuspecting next door.

Do not pick a groundless quarrel with a man

    who has done you no harm.

Do not emulate the man of violence,

    never model your conduct on his;

for the wilful wrong-doer is abhorrent to the Lord,

    who confides only in honest men.

The Lord’s curse lies on the house of the wicked,

    but he blesses the home of the virtuous.

He mocks those who mock,

    but accords his favour to the humble.

Gospel

Luke 8:16-18

Anyone who has will be given more

Jesus said to the crowds:

    ‘No one lights a lamp to cover it with a bowl or to put it under a bed. No, he puts it on a lamp-stand so that people may see the light when they come in. For nothing is hidden but it will be made clear, nothing secret but it will be known and brought to light. So take care how you hear; for anyone who has will be given more; from anyone who has not, even what he thinks he has will be taken away.’

Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: September 17, 2022 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections
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Prudent Stewards: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Amos 8:4–7

Psalm 113:1–2, 4–6, 7–8

1 Timothy 2:1–8

Luke 16:1–13

________________________________________

The steward in today’s Gospel confronts the reality that he can’t go on living the way he has been. He is under judgment. He must give account for what he has done.

The exploiters of the poor in today’s First Reading are also about to be pulled down, to be thrust from their stations (see Isaiah 22:19). Servants of mammon, or money, they’re so in love with wealth that they reduce the poor to objects; they despise the new moons and sabbaths—the observances and holy days of God (see Leviticus 23:24; Exodus 20:8).

Their only hope is to follow the steward’s path. He is no model of repentance. But he makes a prudent calculation—to use his last hours in charge of his master’s property to show mercy to others, to relieve their debts.

He is a child of this world, driven by a purely selfish motive—to make friends and be welcomed into the homes of his master’s debtors. Yet his prudence is commended as an example to us, the children of light (see 1 Thessalonians 5:5; Ephesians 5:8). We too must realize, as the steward does, that what we have is not honestly ours, but in truth belongs to another, our Master.

All the mammon in the world could not have paid the debt we owe our Master. So He paid it for us. He gave His life as a ransom for all, as we hear in today’s Epistle.

God wants everyone to be saved, even kings and princes, even the lovers of money (see Luke 16:14). But we cannot serve two Masters. By His grace, we should choose to be, as we sing in today’s Psalm, “servants of the Lord.”

We serve Him by using what He has entrusted us with to give alms, to lift the lowly from the dust and dunghills of this world. By this we will gain what is ours and be welcomed into eternal dwellings, the many mansions of the Father’s house (see John 14:2).

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 17, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Listen all you have ears and understand that Abba Father loves you dearly and only wants what is best for you. And so, He has given us His living Word, His Word made flesh, Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Through Him we have hope of eternal life and yet even while we are still alive, we can live our lives to the full in Him. We have the Blessed assurance that as we die in Him, we shall rise to new life with Him.

And so how are we embracing our dearest Father in Heaven’s Word given in great love for us? Are dwelling on His word daily in His presence? Having received His Word and Will for us, have we then put it into action? For if we have that we should have already started yielding a harvest for Him.

Jesus, I want to walk with You this day and every day in Your presence, in the land of the living. Let Your Word be a lamp unto my feet. Amen

First reading

1 Corinthians 15:35-37,42-49 ·

The resurrected body is heavenly by nature

Someone may ask, ‘How are dead people raised, and what sort of body do they have when they come back?’ They are stupid questions. Whatever you sow in the ground has to die before it is given new life and the thing that you sow is not what is going to come; you sow a bare grain, say of wheat or something like that. It is the same with the resurrection of the dead: the thing that is sown is perishable but what is raised is imperishable; the thing that is sown is contemptible but what is raised is glorious; the thing that is sown is weak but what is raised is powerful; when it is sown it embodies the soul, when it is raised it embodies the spirit.

    If the soul has its own embodiment, so does the spirit have its own embodiment. The first man, Adam, as scripture says, became a living soul; but the last Adam has become a life-giving spirit. That is, first the one with the soul, not the spirit, and after that, the one with the spirit. The first man, being from the earth, is earthly by nature; the second man is from heaven. As this earthly man was, so are we on earth; and as the heavenly man is, so are we in heaven. And we, who have been modelled on the earthly man, will be modelled on the heavenly man.

Gospel

Luke 8:4-15

The parable of the sower

With a large crowd gathering and people from every town finding their way to him, Jesus used this parable:

    ‘A sower went out to sow his seed. As he sowed, some fell on the edge of the path and was trampled on; and the birds of the air ate it up. Some seed fell on rock, and when it came up it withered away, having no moisture. Some seed fell amongst thorns and the thorns grew with it and choked it. And some seed fell into rich soil and grew and produced its crop a hundredfold.’ Saying this he cried, ‘Listen, anyone who has ears to hear!’

    His disciples asked him what this parable might mean, and he said, ‘The mysteries of the kingdom of God are revealed to you; for the rest there are only parables, so that

they may see but not perceive,

listen but not understand.

‘This, then, is what the parable means: the seed is the word of God. Those on the edge of the path are people who have heard it, and then the devil comes and carries away the word from their hearts in case they should believe and be saved. Those on the rock are people who, when they first hear it, welcome the word with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of trial they give up. As for the part that fell into thorns, this is people who have heard, but as they go on their way they are choked by the worries and riches and pleasures of life and do not reach maturity. As for the part in the rich soil, this is people with a noble and generous heart who have heard the word and take it to themselves and yield a harvest through their perseverance.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 16, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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When we preach or share Christ with others it is the joy of the Resurrected Lord working in our very own lives! His light should shine bright within us into the world. And by our love put into action for Him and our brethren we are declaring that we have new life to the full in Him. Death where is your sting?!

Our previous lives in darkness is no more for Jesus came while we were still sinners and set us free by His life, death and resurrection! For had we remained where we were, we would still be searching for love in all the wrong places, searching for fleeting peace of mind, gaining short lived happiness through worldly possessions and desires. Slowly but surely withering away like flowers without hope.

Praise the Lord for His great mercy and love, now grace filled we are sent into the world to share His mercy and love with one and all! We are men and women after the heart of God, important members of our Lord’s Apostolate. We are beacons of our resurrected Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen Alleluia!

APOSTOLATE

The work of an apostle, not only of the first followers of Christ but of all the faithful who carry on the original mission entrusted by the Savior to the twelve to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). The apostolate belongs essentially to the order of grace. Its purpose is not temporal welfare, however noble, but to bring people to the knowledge and love of Christ and, through obedience to his teaching, help them attain life everlasting.

First reading

1 Corinthians 15:12-20 ·

If Christ has not been raised, your belief is useless

Now if Christ raised from the dead is what has been preached, how can some of you be saying that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, Christ himself cannot have been raised, and if Christ has not been raised then our preaching is useless and your believing it is useless; indeed, we are shown up as witnesses who have committed perjury before God, because we swore in evidence before God that he had raised Christ to life. For if the dead are not raised, Christ has not been raised, and if Christ has not been raised, you are still in your sins. And what is more serious, all who have died in Christ have perished. If our hope in Christ has been for this life only, we are the most unfortunate of all people.

    But Christ has in fact been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of all who have fallen asleep.

Gospel

Luke 8:1-3

The women who accompanied Jesus

Jesus made his way through towns and villages preaching, and proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom of God. With him went the Twelve, as well as certain women who had been cured of evil spirits and ailments: Mary surnamed the Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, Joanna the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, Susanna, and several others who provided for them out of their own resources.


At the cross her station keeping,

Stood the mournful Mother weeping,

Close to Jesus to the last.

Through her heart, His sorrow sharing,

All His bitter anguish bearing,

Now at length the sword had passed.

Oh, how sad and sore distressed

Was that Mother highly blest,

Of the sole begotten One!

Christ above in torment hangs.

She beneath beholds the pangs

Of her dying glorious Son.

Is there one who would not weep,

Whelmed in miseries so deep,

Christ’s dear Mother to behold?

Can the human heart refrain

From partaking in her pain,

In that Mother’s pain untold?

Bruised, derided, cursed, defiled,

She beheld her tender Child,

All with bloody scourges rent.

For the sins of His own nation,

Saw Him hang in desolation

Till His spirit forth He sent.

O thou Mother: fount of love!

Touch my spirit from above,

Make my heart with thine accord.

Make me feel as thou hast felt;

Make my soul to glow and melt

With the love of Christ my Lord.

Holy Mother, pierce me through;

In my heart each wound renew

Of my Savior crucified.

Let me share with thee His pain,

Who for all my sins was slain,

Who for me in torment died.

Let me mingle tears with thee,

Mourning Him who mourned for me,

All the days that I may live.

By the Cross with thee to stay;

There with thee to weep and pray,

Is all I ask of thee to give.

Virgin of all virgins best,

Listen to my fond request:

Let me share thy grief divine.

Let me to my latest breath,

In my body bear the death

Of that dying Son of thine.

Wounded with His every wound,

Steep my soul till it hath swooned

In His very blood away.

Be to me, O Virgin, nigh,

Lest in flames I burn and die,

In His awful Judgment day.

Christ, when Thou shalt call me hence,

Be Thy Mother my defense,

Be Thy Cross my victory.

While my body here decays,

May my soul Thy goodness praise,

Safe in Paradise with Thee. Amen.

(STABAT MATER)

Our Lady of Sorrows pray of us…

First reading

1 Corinthians 15:1-11 ·

I preached what the others preach, and you all believed

Brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, the gospel that you received and in which you are firmly established; because the gospel will save you only if you keep believing exactly what I preached to you – believing anything else will not lead to anything.

    Well then, in the first place, I taught you what I had been taught myself, namely that Christ died for our sins, in accordance with the scriptures; that he was buried; and that he was raised to life on the third day, in accordance with the scriptures; that he appeared first to Cephas and secondly to the Twelve. Next he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died; then he appeared to James, and then to all the apostles; and last of all he appeared to me too; it was as though I was born when no one expected it.

    I am the least of the apostles; in fact, since I persecuted the Church of God, I hardly deserve the name apostle; but by God’s grace that is what I am, and the grace that he gave me has not been fruitless. On the contrary, I, or rather the grace of God that is with me, have worked harder than any of the others; but what matters is that I preach what they preach, and this is what you all believed.

Gospel

John 19:25-27

‘Woman, this is your son’

Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. Seeing his mother and the disciple he loved standing near her, Jesus said to his mother, ‘Woman, this is your son.’ Then to the disciple he said, ‘This is your mother.’ And from that moment the disciple made a place for her in his home.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 14, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Why do we Exalt the Holy Cross? When Christ died once for us and had already redeemed the world? For by His resurrection are we not already free to live in His light?

Because we remember that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. (RM 5:8)For God our Father showed His great love for us by sending His only begotten Son for this very reason.

1 Chronicles 16:15 – He remembers his covenant forever, the promise he made, for a thousand generations.

Luke 1:54-55 – “He has given help to Israel His servant, In remembrance of His mercy, As He spoke to our fathers, To Abraham and his descendants forever.”

Isaiah 65:16-17 – “Because he who is blessed in the earth Will be blessed by the God of truth; And he who swears in the earth Will swear by the God of truth;

Because the former troubles are forgotten, And because they are hidden from My sight! “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former things will not be remembered or come to mind.

Isaiah 65:16-17 – “Because he who is blessed in the earth Will be blessed by the God of truth; And he who swears in the earth Will swear by the God of truth;

Because the former troubles are forgotten, And because they are hidden from My sight! “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former things will not be remembered or come to mind.

Luke 22:17-20  -And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He said, “Take this and share it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes.” And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.

We Adore You, O Christ, and We Praise You. Because by Your Holy Cross, You Have Redeemed the World. Amen

First reading

Numbers 21:4-9 ·

If anyone was bitten by a serpent, he looked up at the bronze serpent and lived

On the way through the wilderness the people lost patience. They spoke against God and against Moses, ‘Why did you bring us out of Egypt to die in this wilderness? For there is neither bread nor water here; we are sick of this unsatisfying food.’

    At this God sent fiery serpents among the people; their bite brought death to many in Israel. The people came and said to Moses, ‘We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you. Intercede for us with the Lord to save us from these serpents.’ Moses interceded for the people, and the Lord answered him, ‘Make a fiery serpent and put it on a standard. If anyone is bitten and looks at it, he shall live.’ So Moses fashioned a bronze serpent which he put on a standard, and if anyone was bitten by a serpent, he looked at the bronze serpent and lived.

Gospel

John 3:13-17

God sent his Son so that through him the world might be saved

Jesus said to Nicodemus:

‘No one has gone up to heaven

except the one who came down from heaven,

the Son of Man who is in heaven;

and the Son of Man must be lifted up

as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,

so that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.

Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son,

so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost

but may have eternal life.

For God sent his Son into the world

not to condemn the world,

but so that through him the world might be saved.’

Song of the Cross

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 13, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Jesus truly saves and gives life! In today’s Gospel we see just how compassionate and loving our Lord is that He would breathe life back into a young man so that he could care for his aged mother who would have been left alone in the world unlikely to survive in those days. So, in essence two lives were saved not one!

Are we likewise as compassionate and loving as we are called to be after our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? Do we exercise the gifts of the Holy Spirit to build up God’s Kingdom and to serve our brethren? St Paul in today’s first reading is not saying that we are limited in our gifts given to us individually! For those of us living in the life in the Spirit know well that the deeper our relationship with the Lord our God; the more gifts we will have to minister to our brethren for the building up of His Kingdom. Amen

Saint John Chrysostom pray of us…

First reading

1 Corinthians 12:12-14,27-31 ·

You together are Christ’s body: each of you a different part

Just as a human body, though it is made up of many parts, is a single unit because all these parts, though many, make one body, so it is with Christ. In the one Spirit we were all baptised, Jews as well as Greeks, slaves as well as citizens, and one Spirit was given to us all to drink.

    Nor is the body to be identified with any one of its many parts. Now you together are Christ’s body; but each of you is a different part of it. In the Church, God has given the first place to apostles, the second to prophets, the third to teachers; after them, miracles, and after them the gift of healing; helpers, good leaders, those with many languages. Are all of them apostles, or all of them prophets, or all of them teachers? Do they all have the gift of miracles, or all have the gift of healing? Do all speak strange languages, and all interpret them? Be ambitious for the higher gifts.

Gospel

Luke 7:11-17

The only son of his mother, and she a widow

Jesus went to a town called Nain, accompanied by his disciples and a great number of people. When he was near the gate of the town it happened that a dead man was being carried out for burial, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a considerable number of the townspeople were with her. When the Lord saw her he felt sorry for her. ‘Do not cry’ he said. Then he went up and put his hand on the bier and the bearers stood still, and he said, ‘Young man, I tell you to get up.’ And the dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him to his mother. Everyone was filled with awe and praised God saying, ‘A great prophet has appeared among us; God has visited his people.’ And this opinion of him spread throughout Judaea and all over the countryside.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 12, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Too often we forget that our homes are an extension of the Eucharistic Celebration held on Sunday. That is when we sit down for a meal as family we should do so as if it was the Lord’s supper that we have gathered for. We pray as one before and after the meal and during the meal we talk about our day in and with the Lord our God. This should be the same likewise in our community meetings.

Yet how is it that in retreats, festivities or gatherings folks rush for their food at buffet lines? Not minding young children, the elderly and such! Even at sit down dinners some are rushing to eat and run! More important things to do? People to be with? What can be more important than being together and having a meal in the presence of our Lord?

For we the faithful know that there is power in the Word amongst us. How wonderful it is when we brought to the realisation that when we are gathered as One to have a meal, pray and worship; His mercy and grace abounds. Healing in all its forms takes place and we are filled with His peace and love.

Glory and praise be Yours O Lord our God. Amen

First reading

1 Corinthians 11:17-26,33 ·

If each one hurries to be first, it is not the Lord’s Supper you are eating

On the subject of instructions, I cannot say that you have done well in holding meetings that do you more harm than good. In the first place, I hear that when you all come together as a community, there are separate factions among you, and I half believe it – since there must no doubt be separate groups among you, to distinguish those who are to be trusted. The point is, when you hold these meetings, it is not the Lord’s Supper that you are eating, since when the time comes to eat, everyone is in such a hurry to start his own supper that one person goes hungry while another is getting drunk. Surely you have homes for eating and drinking in? Surely you have enough respect for the community of God not to make poor people embarrassed? What am I to say to you? Congratulate you? I cannot congratulate you on this.

    For this is what I received from the Lord, and in turn passed on to you: that on the same night that he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread, and thanked God for it and broke it, and he said, ‘This is my body, which is for you; do this as a memorial of me.’ In the same way he took the cup after supper, and said, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Whenever you drink it, do this as a memorial of me.’ Until the Lord comes, therefore, every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are proclaiming his death. So to sum up, my dear brothers, when you meet for the Meal, wait for one another.

Gospel

Luke 7:1-10

Give the word, and my servant will be healed

When Jesus had come to the end of all he wanted the people to hear, he went into Capernaum. A centurion there had a servant, a favourite of his, who was sick and near death. Having heard about Jesus he sent some Jewish elders to him to ask him to come and heal his servant. When they came to Jesus they pleaded earnestly with him. ‘He deserves this of you’ they said ‘because he is friendly towards our people; in fact, he is the one who built the synagogue.’ So Jesus went with them, and was not very far from the house when the centurion sent word to him by some friends: ‘Sir,’ he said ‘do not put yourself to trouble; because I am not worthy to have you under my roof; and for this same reason I did not presume to come to you myself; but give the word and let my servant be cured. For I am under authority myself, and have soldiers under me; and I say to one man: Go, and he goes; to another: Come here, and he comes; to my servant: Do this, and he does it.’ When Jesus heard these words he was astonished at him and, turning round, said to the crowd following him, ‘I tell you, not even in Israel have I found faith like this.’ And when the messengers got back to the house they found the servant in perfect health.

Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: September 10, 2022 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections
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Seeking the Lost: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Exodus 32:7–11, 13–14

Psalm 51:3–4, 12–13, 17, 19

1 Timothy 1:12–17

Luke 15:1–10

________________________________________

The episode in today’s First Reading has been called “Israel’s original sin.” Freed from bondage, born as a people of God in the covenant at Sinai, Israel turned aside from His ways and fell to worshipping a golden calf.

Moses implores God’s mercy, just as Jesus will later intercede for the whole human race. Just as He still pleads for sinners at God’s right hand and through the ministry of the Church.

Israel’s sin is the sin of the world. It is your sin and mine. Ransomed from death and made His children in Baptism, we fall prey to the idols of this world. We remain a “stiff-necked people,” resisting His will for us like an ox refuses the plowman’s yoke (see Jeremiah 7:26).

Like Israel, in our sin we push God away and reject our divine sonship. Once He called us “my people” (see Exodus 3:10; 6:7). But our sin makes us “no people,” people He should, in justice, disown (see Deuteronomy 32:21; 1 Peter 2:10).

Yet in His mercy, He is faithful to the covenant He swore by His own self in Jesus. In Jesus, God comes to Israel and to each of us—as a shepherd to seek the lost (see Ezekiel 34:11–16), to carry us back to the heavenly feast, the perpetual heritage promised long ago to Abraham’s children.

“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners,” Paul cries in today’s Epistle. These are the happiest words the world has ever known. Because of Jesus, as Paul himself can testify, even the blasphemer and persecutor can seek His mercy.

As the sinners do in today’s Gospel, we draw near to listen to Him. In this Eucharist, we bring Him the acceptable sacrifice we sing of in today’s Psalm—our hearts, humbled and contrite.

In the company of His angels and saints, we rejoice that He has wiped out our offense. We celebrate with Him that we have turned from the evil way that we might live (see Ezekiel 18:23).

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 10, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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We cannot constantly give in to the temptations and distractions that take us away from Jesus then pray and hope that we are forgiven. Neither can we continue to live individual lives and lifestyles away from community thinking we can remain steadfast on our own!

For it was through Christ Jesus our Lord who bore the sins of the world so that we can live free as One Body in Him. Holy Eucharist is not a one Sunday event of thanksgiving but a means for us to enter into the divine life of our Saviour. Having received His Body, Blood, soul and divinity we unite ourselves fully with Him and One another in the Holy embrace of Communion!

How then can we allow us to fall so easily to ‘idolatry’?! That which takes us away from the union we share in the One true and living God?

I pray to You O Lord for I love You Lord my strength. For You are my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Amen (Ps. 18:1-2)

First reading

1 Corinthians 10:14-22 ·

We are a single body because we all share the one bread

My dear brothers, you must keep clear of idolatry. I say to you as sensible people: judge for yourselves what I am saying. The blessing-cup that we bless is a communion with the blood of Christ, and the bread that we break is a communion with the body of Christ. The fact that there is only one loaf means that, though there are many of us, we form a single body because we all have a share in this one loaf. Look at the other Israel, the race, where those who eat the sacrifices are in communion with the altar.

    Does this mean that the food sacrificed to idols has a real value, or that the idol itself is real? Not at all. It simply means that the sacrifices that they offer they sacrifice to demons who are not God. I have no desire to see you in communion with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot take your share at the table of the Lord and at the table of demons. Do we want to make the Lord angry; are we stronger than he is?

Gospel

Luke 6:43-49

Whoever hears me builds his house on a rock

Jesus said to his disciples:

    ‘There is no sound tree that produces rotten fruit, nor again a rotten tree that produces sound fruit. For every tree can be told by its own fruit: people do not pick figs from thorns, nor gather grapes from brambles. A good man draws what is good from the store of goodness in his heart; a bad man draws what is bad from the store of badness. For a man’s words flow out of what fills his heart.

    ‘Why do you call me, “Lord, Lord” and not do what I say?

    ‘Everyone who comes to me and listens to my words and acts on them – I will show you what he is like. He is like the man who when he built his house dug, and dug deep, and laid the foundations on rock; when the river was in flood it bore down on that house but could not shake it, it was so well built. But the one who listens and does nothing is like the man who built his house on soil, with no foundations: as soon as the river bore down on it, it collapsed; and what a ruin that house became!’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 9, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Do we see clearly the glory of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? Do we hear clearly His word and Will for us? Do we feel His presence with us from the early morn to the dead of night? If our answer is Yes!

Then surely we see Him in our brethren of whom we love and serve. Especially in those who are difficult to love, who probably have not experienced His love and mercy yet. We will not see the faults in them or others but rather we will strive to examine our very own consciences daily as we seek to be perfected by Jesus who alone is perfect!

We will affirm the good works of one another and are edified by the successes of our brethren who glorify the Lord our God by their lives. We never tire or give up hope in our endeavours to share the Good News, for even in our shortcomings and seeming ‘failures’ it is Christ our Lord who waters and grows the seed we sow for Him. We are always lifted and strengthened through His grace and love for us.

Lord Jesus Bless us and keep us in Your loving care as we live our lives for the sake of the Gospel, Your everlasting Word. Amen

First reading

1 Corinthians 9:16-19,22-27

We go into strict training, like fighters at the games

I do not boast of preaching the gospel, since it is a duty which has been laid on me; I should be punished if I did not preach it! If I had chosen this work myself, I might have been paid for it, but as I have not, it is a responsibility which has been put into my hands. Do you know what my reward is? It is this: in my preaching, to be able to offer the Good News free, and not insist on the rights which the gospel gives me.

    So though I am not a slave of any man I have made myself the slave of everyone so as to win as many as I could. I made myself all things to all men in order to save some at any cost; and I still do this, for the sake of the gospel, to have a share in its blessings.

    All the runners at the stadium are trying to win, but only one of them gets the prize. You must run in the same way, meaning to win. All the fighters at the games go into strict training; they do this just to win a wreath that will wither away, but we do it for a wreath that will never wither. That is how I run, intent on winning; that is how I fight, not beating the air. I treat my body hard and make it obey me, for, having been an announcer myself, I should not want to be disqualified.

Gospel

Luke 6:39-42

Can the blind lead the blind?

Jesus told a parable to the disciples: ‘Can one blind man guide another? Surely both will fall into a pit? The disciple is not superior to his teacher; the fully trained disciple will always be like his teacher. Why do you observe the splinter in your brother’s eye and never notice the plank in your own? How can you say to your brother, “Brother, let me take out the splinter that is in your eye,” when you cannot see the plank in your own? Hypocrite! Take the plank out of your own eye first, and then you will see clearly enough to take out the splinter that is in your brother’s eye.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 8, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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On this day O beautiful Mother, on this day we celebrate your birth. For it was God our Heavenly Father from the very beginning that chose you to bring to birth, His One and only begotten Son. Your whole life was in loving relationship with Abba Father. And you magnified Him by your life. Truly a lowly handmaid yet Blessed amongst all women!

In the Gospel we also hear of St Joseph your most chaste spouse. A humble man whose love and obedience to God our Heavenly Father was an ideal loving foster father and husband. What joy he must have had to have Jesus as his son!

It gives me great hope that I may be a nobody in this vast and big world, but I am a child of God so loved by Him and by my obedience and love, I too can magnify His Glory to all. So that everyone will feel and know the presence of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. God is truly with us! Amen Alleluia

First reading

Micah 5:1-4 ·

He will stand and feed his flock with the power of the Lord

The Lord says this:

But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,

the least of the clans of Judah,

out of you will be born for me

the one who is to rule over Israel;

his origin goes back to the distant past,

to the days of old.

The Lord is therefore going to abandon them

till the time when she who is to give birth gives birth.

Then the remnant of his brothers will come back

to the sons of Israel.

He will stand and feed his flock

with the power of the Lord,

with the majesty of the name of his God.

They will live secure, for from then on he will extend his power

to the ends of the land.

He himself will be peace.

Gospel

Matthew 1:1-16,18-23

The ancestry and conception of Jesus Christ

A genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham:

Abraham was the father of Isaac,

Isaac the father of Jacob,

Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,

Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah, Tamar being their mother,

Perez was the father of Hezron,

Hezron the father of Ram,

Ram was the father of Amminadab,

Amminadab the father of Nahshon,

Nahshon the father of Salmon,

Salmon was the father of Boaz, Rahab being his mother,

Boaz was the father of Obed, Ruth being his mother,

Obed was the father of Jesse;

and Jesse was the father of King David.

David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife,

Solomon was the father of Rehoboam,

Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asa,

Asa was the father of Jehoshaphat,

Jehoshaphat the father of Joram,

Joram the father of Azariah,

Azariah was the father of Jotham,

Jotham the father of Ahaz,

Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,

Hezekiah was the father of Manasseh,

Manasseh the father of Amon,

Amon the father of Josiah;

and Josiah was the father of Jechoniah and his brothers.

Then the deportation to Babylon took place.

After the deportation to Babylon:

Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel,

Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,

Zerubbabel was the father of Abiud,

Abiud the father of Eliakim,

Eliakim the father of Azor,

Azor was the father of Zadok,

Zadok the father of Achim,

Achim the father of Eliud,

Eliud was the father of Eleazar,

Eleazar the father of Matthan,

Matthan the father of Jacob;

and Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary;

of her was born Jesus who is called Christ.

This is how Jesus Christ came to be born. His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph; but before they came to live together she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph; being a man of honour and wanting to spare her publicity, decided to divorce her informally. He had made up his mind to do this when the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because she has conceived what is in her by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you must name him Jesus, because he is the one who is to save his people from their sins.’ Now all this took place to fulfil the words spoken by the Lord through the prophet:

The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son

and they will call him Emmanuel,

a name which means ‘God-is-with-us.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 7, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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What is your vocation in life? Whether we are single or married, rich or poor we are all called to holiness and to the building up of God our Father’s Kingdom. And that should be our primary focus, to glorify the Lord our God by our lives. For our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ set us free to live fully in His love, mercy and peace. He has given us everything!

How then can we withhold anything for ourselves? Can we who have more than enough withhold food and drink from our hungry, thirsty brethren who have none? Can we leave those who are mourning, depressed or struggling without comfort while we rejoice on our own?

We should never be content with what we own or what material wealth we have. For we have been raised with Christ, and must set our hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Let us set our minds on things above, not on earthly things. Amen (Col 3:1-2)

First reading

1 CORINTHIANS 7:25-31 ·

The world as we know it is passing away

About remaining celibate, I have no directions from the Lord but give my own opinion as one who, by the Lord’s mercy, has stayed faithful. Well then, I believe that in these present times of stress this is right: that it is good for a man to stay as he is. If you are tied to a wife, do not look for freedom; if you are free of a wife, then do not look for one. But if you marry, it is no sin, and it is not a sin for a young girl to get married. They will have their troubles, though, in their married life, and I should like to spare you that.

Brothers, this is what I mean: our time is growing short. Those who have wives should live as though they had none, and those who mourn should live as though they had nothing to mourn for; those who are enjoying life should live as though there were nothing to laugh about; those whose life is buying things should live as though they had nothing of their own; and those who have to deal with the world should not become engrossed in it. I say this because the world as we know it is passing away.

Gospel

LUKE 6:20-26

Happy are you who are poor, who are hungry, who weep

Fixing his eyes on his disciples Jesus said:

‘How happy are you who are poor: yours is the kingdom of God.

Happy you who are hungry now: you shall be satisfied.

Happy you who weep now: you shall laugh.

Happy are you when people hate you, drive you out, abuse you, denounce your name as criminal, on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice when that day comes and dance for joy, for then your reward will be great in heaven. This was the way their ancestors treated the prophets.

‘But alas for you who are rich: you are having your consolation now.

Alas for you who have your fill now: you shall go hungry.

Alas for you who laugh now: you shall mourn and weep.

‘Alas for you when the world speaks well of you! This was the way their ancestors treated the false prophets.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 6, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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We often gloss over today’s Gospel as simply Jesus choosing the twelve apostles. Special and anointed Men set apart to do God’s will. But really how special was each and every one of them? Most of us know that some of them were uneducated fishermen, we know of a tax collector, zealot and so on. It was Jesus who set them apart and anointed them. He changed them from within and they became more like Him. They surrendered everything took up their cross and followed Him.

Jesus is doing the very same thing today for you and me. He is setting us apart, He has anointed us through our baptism and confirmation, and we are sent into the world to be powerful instruments of His grace. How many of us are living out our call? Surrendering everything, taking up our cross and following after our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? How many lives have changed because we brought them closer to Jesus our Lord and our God?

Or are we still bickering with one another or who is right and who is wrong? Who has the Parish priest ear and who doesn’t? What other ugly sides are we showing to unbelievers instead of the face of Christ Jesus our Lord?

Both lungs of our Church in which the Holy Spirit breathes has the institutional dimension as well as the Charismatic dimension. Are we still focussed only on the institutional dimension? How alive in the Spirit is our Church? Our Ministries? Our Communities? Our Homes?

Come fill us with Your Presence Holy Spirit come dwell among us. Amen

First reading

1 Corinthians 6:1-11

Do not drag your brother to a pagan for judgement

How dare one of your members take up a complaint against another in the law courts of the unjust instead of before the saints? As you know, it is the saints who are to ‘judge the world’; and if the world is to be judged by you, how can you be unfit to judge trifling cases? Since we are also to judge angels, it follows that we can judge matters of everyday life; but when you have had cases of that kind, the people you appointed to try them were not even respected in the Church. You should be ashamed: is there really not one reliable man among you to settle differences between brothers and so one brother brings a court case against another in front of unbelievers? It is bad enough for you to have lawsuits at all against one another: oughtn’t you to let yourselves be wronged, and let yourselves be cheated? But you are doing the wronging and the cheating, and to your own brothers.

    You know perfectly well that people who do wrong will not inherit the kingdom of God: people of immoral lives, idolaters, adulterers, catamites, sodomites, thieves, usurers, drunkards, slanderers and swindlers will never inherit the kingdom of God. These are the sort of people some of you were once, but now you have been washed clean, and sanctified, and justified through the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and through the Spirit of our God.

Gospel

Luke 6:12-19

Jesus chooses his twelve apostles

Jesus went out into the hills to pray; and he spent the whole night in prayer to God. When day came he summoned his disciples and picked out twelve of them; he called them ‘apostles’: Simon whom he called Peter, and his brother Andrew; James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon called the Zealot, Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot who became a traitor.

    He then came down with them and stopped at a piece of level ground where there was a large gathering of his disciples with a great crowd of people from all parts of Judaea and from Jerusalem and from the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon who had come to hear him and to be cured of their diseases. People tormented by unclean spirits were also cured, and everyone in the crowd was trying to touch him because power came out of him that cured them all.

On Today’s Gosple

Posted: September 5, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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We cannot tolerate sin amongst us for it corrupts and if allowed to fester will eventually affect the whole community. Yes indeed we love the sinner, but he/she must be remorseful and seek to repent. There is no such thing as private sin, between the sinner and the Lord God Himself! Take for example a man in an adulterous relationship with another. Can He say it a private matter between Himself and God? Can we as community remain silent? See how his sin will affect and is already affecting his relationship with his spouse, his children, his community, his friends!

There is no such thing as a good time to love neighbour, brethren or family. We must love them in the present and do what we must now so that they can be healed, renewed and set free. For Jesus Himself shows us in today’s Gospel that love must come first above all else, law, due process and so on. He chose to heal the sufferers immediately out of love for him.

Saint Teresa of Kolkata Pray for us…

First reading

1 Corinthians 5:1-8 ·

Get rid of the old yeast of evil and wickedness

I have been told as an undoubted fact that one of you is living with his father’s wife. This is a case of sexual immorality among you that must be unparalleled even among pagans. How can you be so proud of yourselves? You should be in mourning. A man who does a thing like that ought to have been expelled from the community. Though I am far away in body, I am with you in spirit, and have already condemned the man who did this thing as if I were actually present. When you are assembled together in the name of the Lord Jesus, and I am spiritually present with you, then with the power of our Lord Jesus he is to be handed over to Satan so that his sensual body may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.

    The pride that you take in yourselves is hardly to your credit. You must know how even a small amount of yeast is enough to leaven all the dough, so get rid of all the old yeast, and make yourselves into a completely new batch of bread, unleavened as you are meant to be. Christ, our passover, has been sacrificed; let us celebrate the feast, then, by getting rid of all the old yeast of evil and wickedness, having only the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Gospel

Luke 6:6-11

Is it against the law on the sabbath to save life?

On the sabbath Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach, and a man was there whose right hand was withered. The scribes and the Pharisees were watching him to see if he would cure a man on the sabbath, hoping to find something to use against him. But he knew their thoughts; and he said to the man with the withered hand, ‘Stand up! Come out into the middle.’ And he came out and stood there. Then Jesus said to them, ‘I put it to you: is it against the law on the sabbath to do good, or to do evil; to save life, or to destroy it?’ Then he looked round at them all and said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He did so, and his hand was better. But they were furious, and began to discuss the best way of dealing with Jesus.

23rd Sunday In Ordinary Time

Posted: September 3, 2022 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections
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Counting the Cost: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Wisdom 9:13–18

Psalm 90:3–6, 12–17

Philemon 1:9–10, 12–17

Luke 14:25–33

________________________________________

Like a king making ready for battle or a contractor about to build a tower, we have to count the cost as we set out to follow Jesus.

Our Lord today is telling us up front the sacrifice it will take. His words aren’t addressed to His chosen few, the Twelve, but rather to the “great crowds”—to anyone, to whoever wishes to be His disciple.

That only makes His call all the more stark and uncompromising. We are to “hate” our old lives, to renounce all the earthly things we rely upon, to choose Him above every person and possession. Again He tells us that the things we have—even our family ties and obligations—can become an excuse, an obstacle that keeps us from giving ourselves completely to Him (see Luke 9:23–26, 57–62).

Jesus brings us the saving wisdom we are promised in today’s First Reading. He is that saving Wisdom.

Weighed down by many earthly concerns, the burdens of our body and its needs, we could never see beyond the things of this world; we could never detect God’s heavenly design and intention. So in His mercy He sent us His Spirit, His Wisdom from on high, to make straight our path to Him.

Jesus Himself paid the price to free us from the sentence imposed on Adam, which we recall in today’s Psalm (see Genesis 2:7; 2:19). No more will the work of our hands be an affliction; no more are we destined to turn back to dust.

Like Onesimus in today’s Epistle, we have been redeemed. We have been given a new family and a new inheritance, made children of the Father, brothers and sisters in the Lord.

We are free now to come after Him, to serve Him—no longer slaves to the ties of our past lives. In Christ, all our yesterdays have passed. We live in what the Psalm today beautifully describes as the daybreak, ready to be filled with His kindness. For He has given us wisdom of heart and taught us to number our days aright.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 3, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

If we are taking up our cross to follow Jesus then we already know we will face hardships, challenges even ridicule for His namesake. We also know that our merciful Lord and Saviour; Lord God of the universe, will never abandon us. So when we are cursed we shall answer with a blessing.

Not an easy feat for it takes humility of love and service of Jesus our Master. In living fully in His grace we can overcome every and anything.

Let us pray as we sing with all our hearts…..

Humbly we adore Thee, Christ Redeemer King, Thou art Lord of Heaven, Thou to whom we sing. God, the mighty, thou hast come, Bearing gifts of grace; Son of Adam, still thou art, Saviour of our race.

Amen

Saint Gregory Pray for us… 

First reading

1 Corinthians 4:6-15 ·

What do you have that was not given to you?

Take Apollos and myself as an example and remember the maxim: ‘Keep to what is written.’ It is not for you, so full of your own importance, to go taking sides for one man against another. In any case, brother, has anybody given you some special right? What do you have that was not given to you? And if it was given, how can you boast as though it were not? Is it that you have everything you want – that you are rich already, in possession of your kingdom, with us left outside? Indeed I wish you were really kings, and we could be kings with you! But instead, it seems to me, God has put us apostles at the end of his parade, with the men sentenced to death; it is true – we have been put on show in front of the whole universe, angels as well as men. Here we are, fools for the sake of Christ, while you are the learned men in Christ; we have no power, but you are influential; you are celebrities, we are nobodies. To this day, we go without food and drink and clothes; we are beaten and have no homes; we work for our living with our own hands. When we are cursed, we answer with a blessing; when we are hounded, we put up with it; we are insulted and we answer politely. We are treated as the offal of the world, still to this day, the scum of the earth.

    I am saying all this not just to make you ashamed but to bring you, as my dearest children, to your senses. You might have thousands of guardians in Christ, but not more than one father and it was I who begot you in Christ Jesus by preaching the Good News.

Gospel

Luke 6:1-5

The Son of Man is master of the sabbath

One sabbath Jesus happened to be taking a walk through the cornfields, and his disciples were picking ears of corn, rubbing them in their hands and eating them. Some of the Pharisees said, ‘Why are you doing something that is forbidden on the sabbath day?’ Jesus answered them, ‘So you have not read what David did when he and his followers were hungry how he went into the house of God, took the loaves of offering and ate them and gave them to his followers, loaves which only the priests are allowed to eat?’ And he said to them, ‘The Son of Man is master of the sabbath.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 2, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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By His life, death and resurrection, Jesus has made us new creations in Him by our baptism. Are we then living our new lives fully in His love? Are we living it with such peace and joy in our hearts that His radiance shines through our faces. And all those who look upon us, want what we have and that is our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ walking with us.

This can only come about if we are truly living in the light of His resurrection. Not looking back to past lives and holding on to past sins! For He had freed us and restored us, so that we can live holy lives in His name. We can bear our crosses joyfully as we follow after Him. We live our lives with integrity and in service of Him and brethren, as St Paul says in today’s first reading; People must think of us as Christ’s servants, stewards entrusted with the mysteries of God.

Into Your hands I commit my spirit Lord, this and every day. Amen

First reading

1 Corinthians 4:1-5 ·

The Lord alone is our judge

People must think of us as Christ’s servants, stewards entrusted with the mysteries of God. What is expected of stewards is that each one should be found worthy of his trust. Not that it makes the slightest difference to me whether you, or indeed any human tribunal, find me worthy or not. I will not even pass judgement on myself. True, my conscience does not reproach me at all, but that does not prove that I am acquitted: the Lord alone is my judge. There must be no passing of premature judgement. Leave that until the Lord comes; he will light up all that is hidden in the dark and reveal the secret intentions of men’s hearts. Then will be the time for each one to have whatever praise he deserves, from God.

Gospel

Luke 5:33-39

When the bridegroom is taken from them, then they will fast

The Pharisees and the scribes said to Jesus, ‘John’s disciples are always fasting and saying prayers, and the disciples of the Pharisees too, but yours go on eating and drinking.’ Jesus replied, ‘Surely you cannot make the bridegroom’s attendants fast while the bridegroom is still with them? But the time will come, the time for the bridegroom to be taken away from them; that will be the time when they will fast.’

    He also told them this parable, ‘No one tears a piece from a new cloak to put it on an old cloak; if he does, not only will he have torn the new one, but the piece taken from the new will not match the old.

    ‘And nobody puts new wine into old skins; if he does, the new wine will burst the skins and then run out, and the skins will be lost. No; new wine must be put into fresh skins. And nobody who has been drinking old wine wants new. “The old is good” he says.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 1, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Who seeks to divide the church and separate us from one another? Who stands to gain when we fight and bicker over who is right and who is wrong? The answer is clear if and when this happens, we have lost sight and focus on Jesus our Lord and Saviour who died to unite the world on to Himself.

We have chosen to rely on our own wisdom instead of turning to the Holy Spirit to guide and lead us. We have forgotten how as unworthy as we were, He came and called us to follow Him! Weighed down by our sins He lifted us up with His great mercy and love. “Do not be afraid” He reminds us as He will be with us, when we go out to gather others who do not yet know Him and bring them to Him. So that they too can be set free to live fully in His love.

Instead of saying to You Lord, leave me I am a sinful man. I pray Lord, be with me always! I want more and more of You each and every day. Come Lord Jesus Come. Amen

First reading

1 Corinthians 3:18-23 ·

The wisdom of the world is foolishness to God

Make no mistake about it: if any one of you thinks of himself as wise, in the ordinary sense of the word, then he must learn to be a fool before he really can be wise. Why? Because the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. As scripture says: The Lord knows wise men’s thoughts: he knows how useless they are; or again: God is not convinced by the arguments of the wise. So there is nothing to boast about in anything human: Paul, Apollos, Cephas, the world, life and death, the present and the future, are all your servants; but you belong to Christ and Christ belongs to God.

Gospel

Luke 5:1-11

They left everything and followed him

Jesus was standing one day by the Lake of Gennesaret, with the crowd pressing round him listening to the word of God, when he caught sight of two boats close to the bank. The fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats – it was Simon’s – and asked him to put out a little from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat.

    When he had finished speaking he said to Simon, ‘Put out into deep water and pay out your nets for a catch.’ ‘Master,’ Simon replied, ‘we worked hard all night long and caught nothing, but if you say so, I will pay out the nets.’ And when they had done this they netted such a huge number of fish that their nets began to tear, so they signalled to their companions in the other boat to come and help them; when these came, they filled the two boats to sinking point.

    When Simon Peter saw this he fell at the knees of Jesus saying, ‘Leave me, Lord; I am a sinful man.’ For he and all his companions were completely overcome by the catch they had made; so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were Simon’s partners. But Jesus said to Simon, ‘Do not be afraid; from now on it is men you will catch.’ Then, bringing their boats back to land, they left everything and followed him.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 31, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Are you still an infant in your faith in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ?

When you should not be battling habitual sin any longer but instead battling evil and encouraging others to turn away from sinfulness and sin to live in the presence of the Lord our God. You should be rebuking fevers and praying for healing in Jesus’s name and proclaiming the Good news of the kingdom of God here on earth!

Recently I remarked to my spiritual director that I was amazed and impressed by some Christian brothers and sisters who have been doing street evangelisation by reaching out to strangers in the street and performing healing in our Lord’s name. He replied what happens after the healing? Meaning to say what is the follow up. Although I left it there without answer, I have seen that our Christian sisters and brothers lead them first to prayer in accepting Jesus as their personal Lord and Saviour and perhaps inviting some of them to Church. To me they were living out their faith put into action.

We who have the fullness of faith should be doing likewise and more! How can we remain infants in our faith?! As St Paul says in today’s first reading, we are fellow workers with God; you are God’s farm, God’s building. Let us be bold in our sowing and invite the Lord our God to be the one who makes things grow. Amen

First reading

1 Corinthians 3:1-9 ·

Neither the planter nor the waterer matters, only God, who makes things grow

Brothers, I myself was unable to speak to you as people of the Spirit: I treated you as sensual men, still infants in Christ. What I fed you with was milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it; and indeed, you are still not ready for it since you are still unspiritual. Isn’t that obvious from all the jealousy and wrangling that there is among you, from the way that you go on behaving like ordinary people? What could be more unspiritual than your slogans, ‘I am for Paul’ and ‘I am for Apollos’?

    After all, what is Apollos and what is Paul? They are servants who brought the faith to you. Even the different ways in which they brought it were assigned to them by the Lord. I did the planting, Apollos did the watering, but God made things grow. Neither the planter nor the waterer matters: only God, who makes things grow. It is all one who does the planting and who does the watering, and each will duly be paid according to his share in the work. We are fellow workers with God; you are God’s farm, God’s building.

Gospel

Luke 4:38-44

He would not allow them to speak because they knew he was the Christ

Leaving the synagogue, Jesus went to Simon’s house. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever and they asked him to do something for her. Leaning over her he rebuked the fever and it left her. And she immediately got up and began to wait on them.

    At sunset all those who had friends suffering from diseases of one kind or another brought them to him, and laying his hands on each he cured them. Devils too came out of many people, howling, ‘You are the Son of God.’ But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak because they knew that he was the Christ.

    When daylight came he left the house and made his way to a lonely place. The crowds went to look for him, and when they had caught up with him they wanted to prevent him leaving them, but he answered, ‘I must proclaim the Good News of the kingdom of God to the other towns too, because that is what I was sent to do.’ And he continued his preaching in the synagogues of Judaea.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 30, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Although very few will openly share their skepticism, many still do not fully believe in the Holy Spirit. And the sad reality is that it is only through the Holy Spirit that we can hope to reach the depths of God. Still many claim to believe and are even willing to pray set prayers to the Holy Spirit invoking Him to come and dwell within them and yet do not live a life in the Spirit!

For to live a life in the Spirit takes discipline, and a growing desire to want more and more of Him. To grow deeper in love with Jesus our Lord each day and always seeking to know the mind and Will of God our Heavenly Father. We awake each day with joy as we await new adventures as we walk in His presence.

Then all will know the power of our resurrected Lord as we become powerful instruments of His grace. Amen Alleluia!

First reading

1 Corinthians 2:10-16 ·

The Spirit reaches even the depths of God

The Spirit reaches the depths of everything, even the depths of God. After all, the depths of a man can only be known by his own spirit, not by any other man, and in the same way the depths of God can only be known by the Spirit of God. Now instead of the spirit of the world, we have received the Spirit that comes from God, to teach us to understand the gifts that he has given us. Therefore we teach, not in the way in which philosophy is taught, but in the way that the Spirit teaches us: we teach spiritual things spiritually. An unspiritual person is one who does not accept anything of the Spirit of God: he sees it all as nonsense; it is beyond his understanding because it can only be understood by means of the Spirit. A spiritual man, on the other hand, is able to judge the value of everything, and his own value is not to be judged by other men. As scripture says: Who can know the mind of the Lord, so who can teach him? But we are those who have the mind of Christ.

Gospel

Luke 4:31-37

‘I know who you are: the Holy One of God’

Jesus went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath. And his teaching made a deep impression on them because he spoke with authority.

    In the synagogue there was a man who was possessed by the spirit of an unclean devil, and it shouted at the top of its voice, ‘Ha! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are: the Holy One of God.’ But Jesus said sharply, ‘Be quiet! Come out of him!’ And the devil, throwing the man down in front of everyone, went out of him without hurting him at all. Astonishment seized them and they were all saying to one another, ‘What teaching! He gives orders to unclean spirits with authority and power and they come out.’ And reports of him went all through the surrounding countryside.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 29, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Are we willing to stick our necks out for Jesus? To stand up for what is right? Are we brave enough to face unafraid the challenges that comes from living out our Christian values for the glory of God? Such that we declare with all our hearts, If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. RM 14:8

Are we then living a life in the Spirit? If our answer is Yes then what are the accompanying signs and wonders? What are the fruits we bring forth at every Eucharist to be laid down at the altar? How many souls have we won for Him? How many have we brought into faith not just by our testimonies but through acts of love in the power of the Spirit?

Lord I will not live as a closet Christian! I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes. Amen (RM 1:16)

First reading

1 Corinthians 2:1-5 ·

The only knowledge I claimed was of the crucified Christ

When I came to you, brothers, it was not with any show of oratory or philosophy, but simply to tell you what God had guaranteed. During my stay with you, the only knowledge I claimed to have was about Jesus, and only about him as the crucified Christ. Far from relying on any power of my own, I came among you in great ‘fear and trembling’ and in my speeches and the sermons that I gave, there were none of the arguments that belong to philosophy; only a demonstration of the power of the Spirit. And I did this so that your faith should not depend on human philosophy but on the power of God.

Gospel

Mark 6:17-29

The beheading of John the Baptist

Herod sent to have John arrested, and had him chained up in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife whom he had married. For John had told Herod, ‘It is against the law for you to have your brother’s wife.’ As for Herodias, she was furious with him and wanted to kill him; but she was not able to, because Herod was afraid of John, knowing him to be a good and holy man, and gave him his protection. When he had heard him speak he was greatly perplexed, and yet he liked to listen to him.

    An opportunity came on Herod’s birthday when he gave a banquet for the nobles of his court, for his army officers and for the leading figures in Galilee. When the daughter of this same Herodias came in and danced, she delighted Herod and his guests; so the king said to the girl, ‘Ask me anything you like and I will give it you.’ And he swore her an oath, ‘I will give you anything you ask, even half my kingdom.’ She went out and said to her mother, ‘What shall I ask for?’ She replied, ‘The head of John the Baptist.’ The girl hurried straight back to the king and made her request, ‘I want you to give me John the Baptist’s head, here and now, on a dish.’ The king was deeply distressed but, thinking of the oaths he had sworn and of his guests, he was reluctant to break his word to her. So the king at once sent one of the bodyguard with orders to bring John’s head. The man went off and beheaded him in prison; then he brought the head on a dish and gave it to the girl, and the girl gave it to her mother. When John’s disciples heard about this, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.


To Go up Higher: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Sirach 3:17–18, 20, 28–29

Psalm 68:4–7,10–11

Hebrews 12:18–19, 22–24

Luke 14:1, 7–14

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We come to the wedding banquet of heaven by way of humility and charity. This is the fatherly instruction we hear in today’s First Reading, and the message of today’s Gospel.

Jesus is not talking simply about good table manners. He is revealing the way of the kingdom, in which the one who would be greatest would be the servant of all (see Luke 22:24–27).

This is the way, too, that the Father has shown us down through the ages—filling the hungry, sending the rich away empty, lifting up the lowly, pulling down the proud (see Luke 1:52–53).

We again call to mind the Exodus in today’s Psalm—how in His goodness the Lord led the Israelites from imprisonment to prosperity, rained down bread from heaven, made them His inheritance, becoming a “Father of orphans.”

We now have also gained a share of His inheritance. We are to live humbly, knowing we are not worthy to receive from His table (see Luke 6:7; 15:21). We are to give alms, remembering we were ransomed from sin by the price of His blood (see 1 Corinthians 6:19–20).

The Lord promises that if we are humble we will be exalted and find favor with God; that if we are kind to those who can never repay us, we will atone for sins and find blessing in the resurrection of the righteous.

We anticipate the fulfillment of those promises in every Eucharist, today’s Epistle tells us. In the Mass, we enter the festal gathering of the angels and the firstborn children of God. It is the liturgy of the heavenly Jerusalem in which Jesus is the high priest, the King who calls us to come up higher (see Proverbs 25:6–7).

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 27, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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As scripture says: if anyone wants to boast, let him boast about the Lord.

Why not instead let the our Lord boast about us, His disciples to all nations!

Can He though about You and me?

Are we living our lives obedient unto Him? Are we living with such joy in our hearts that others are drawn to have what we have; Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Have we been bold in our proclamation of the Gospel we hold so dear? Have we given away our all? All the gifts and talents He had given us to glorify His name and to build His Kingdom. Have we not realised by now that it is only in the giving away that we receive? Perhaps we did not fully embrace Jesus’s words when He says “For to everyone who has will be given more, and he will have more than enough.” For if we have been living as we are called to, then surely He can boast about us.  As we will often hear Him say to us “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have shown you can be faithful in small things, I will trust you with greater; come and join in your master’s happiness.”

In You O Lord our hearts rejoice, for we trust in Your Holy name. May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you. Amen

(Ps 33-21-22)

Saint Monica Pray for us…

First reading

1 Corinthians 1:26-31 ·

God chose what is foolish by human reckoning, to shame the wise

Take yourselves for instance, brothers, at the time when you were called: how many of you were wise in the ordinary sense of the word, how many were influential people, or came from noble families? No, it was to shame the wise that God chose what is foolish by human reckoning, and to shame what is strong that he chose what is weak by human reckoning; those whom the world thinks common and contemptible are the ones that God has chosen – those who are nothing at all to show up those who are everything. The human race has nothing to boast about to God, but you, God has made members of Christ Jesus and by God’s doing he has become our wisdom, and our virtue, and our holiness, and our freedom. As scripture says: if anyone wants to boast, let him boast about the Lord.

Gospel

Matthew 25:14-30

You have been faithful in small things: come and join in your master’s happiness

Jesus spoke this parable to his disciples: ‘The kingdom of Heaven is like a man on his way abroad who summoned his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to a third one; each in proportion to his ability. Then he set out.

    ‘The man who had received the five talents promptly went and traded with them and made five more. The man who had received two made two more in the same way. But the man who had received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

    ‘Now a long time after, the master of those servants came back and went through his accounts with them. The man who had received the five talents came forward bringing five more. “Sir,” he said “you entrusted me with five talents; here are five more that I have made.”

    ‘His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have shown you can be faithful in small things, I will trust you with greater; come and join in your master’s happiness.”

    ‘Next the man with the two talents came forward. “Sir,” he said “you entrusted me with two talents; here are two more that I have made.” His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have shown you can be faithful in small things, I will trust you with greater; come and join in your master’s happiness.”

    ‘Last came forward the man who had the one talent. “Sir,” said he “I had heard you were a hard man, reaping where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered; so I was afraid, and I went off and hid your talent in the ground. Here it is; it was yours, you have it back.” But his master answered him, “You wicked and lazy servant! So you knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered? Well then, you should have deposited my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have recovered my capital with interest. So now, take the talent from him and give it to the man who has the five talents. For to everyone who has will be given more, and he will have more than enough; but from the man who has not, even what he has will be taken away. As for this good-for-nothing servant, throw him out into the dark, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.”’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 26, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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STAY AWAKE!

Will we have a problem staying awake in joyful hope of the coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, if we awake daily seeking to walk in His presence? If we listen eagerly to hear Him speak to us through His living Word? If we pray each day for the Holy Spirit to come upon us to guide us throughout the day? For Jesus is the power and wisdom of God; and will forever be our One true Love!

If all that is said above holds true for us then we have nothing to fear for we have our lamps brightly lit and ready to meet Him when He comes again.

Come Lord Jesus, we are eagerly waiting for You. Amen

First reading

1 Corinthians 1:17-25

We preach a crucified Christ, the power and wisdom of God

Christ did not send me to baptise, but to preach the Good News, and not to preach that in the terms of philosophy in which the crucifixion of Christ cannot be expressed. The language of the cross may be illogical to those who are not on the way to salvation, but those of us who are on the way see it as God’s power to save. As scripture says: I shall destroy the wisdom of the wise and bring to nothing all the learning of the learned. Where are the philosophers now? Where are the scribes? Where are any of our thinkers today? Do you see now how God has shown up the foolishness of human wisdom? If it was God’s wisdom that human wisdom should not know God, it was because God wanted to save those who have faith through the foolishness of the message that we preach. And so, while the Jews demand miracles and the Greeks look for wisdom, here are we preaching a crucified Christ; to the Jews an obstacle that they cannot get over, to the pagans madness, but to those who have been called, whether they are Jews or Greeks, a Christ who is the power and the wisdom of God. For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.

Gospel

Matthew 25:1-13

The wise and foolish virgins

Jesus told this parable to his disciples: ‘The kingdom of heaven will be like this: Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were sensible: the foolish ones did take their lamps, but they brought no oil, whereas the sensible ones took flasks of oil as well as their lamps. The bridegroom was late, and they all grew drowsy and fell asleep. But at midnight there was a cry, “The bridegroom is here! Go out and meet him.” At this, all those bridesmaids woke up and trimmed their lamps, and the foolish ones said to the sensible ones, “Give us some of your oil: our lamps are going out.” But they replied, “There may not be enough for us and for you; you had better go to those who sell it and buy some for yourselves.” They had gone off to buy it when the bridegroom arrived. Those who were ready went in with him to the wedding hall and the door was closed. The other bridesmaids arrived later. “Lord, Lord,” they said “open the door for us.” But he replied, “I tell you solemnly, I do not know you.” So stay awake, because you do not know either the day or the hour.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 25, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Read and re-read the first reading and see how your Parish, our Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church should be! And if it is not then why not?

Enriched in many ways in Christ, fully alive and grace filled such that everyone who comes in contact with a disciple of Jesus Christ desires to be one him or herself.

Perhaps a clue as to why not or rather not yet is to be found in the Gospel of today. Many have fallen asleep! Many are not awake to the workings of the Holy Spirit already outpoured for us and are not living a life in the Spirit. Consumed day to day with other more ‘important’ things refusing to spend any time in the presence of the Lord our God and in community. For without a community no one can claim to be disciple of Christ!

Come Holy Spirit fill my very being with Your graces this very morning, come fill me again at noon, in the evening and in the night. Be with me every hour, guide me so that I may draw ever closer to the bosom of my Lord and my God. Amen Alleluia.

First reading

1 Corinthians 1:1-9 ·

You have been enriched in many ways in Christ

I, Paul, appointed by God to be an apostle, together with brother Sosthenes, send greetings to the church of God in Corinth, to the holy people of Jesus Christ, who are called to take their place among all the saints everywhere who pray to our Lord Jesus Christ; for he is their Lord no less than ours. May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ send you grace and peace.

    I never stop thanking God for all the graces you have received through Jesus Christ. I thank him that you have been enriched in so many ways, especially in your teachers and preachers; the witness to Christ has indeed been strong among you so that you will not be without any of the gifts of the Spirit while you are waiting for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed; and he will keep you steady and without blame until the last day, the day of our Lord Jesus Christ, because God by calling you has joined you to his Son, Jesus Christ; and God is faithful.

Gospel

Matthew 24:42-51

He is coming at an hour you do not expect

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Stay awake, because you do not know the day when your master is coming. You may be quite sure of this, that if the householder had known at what time of the night the burglar would come, he would have stayed awake and would not have allowed anyone to break through the wall of his house. Therefore, you too must stand ready because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

    ‘What sort of servant, then, is faithful and wise enough for the master to place him over his household to give them their food at the proper time? Happy that servant if his master’s arrival finds him at this employment. I tell you solemnly, he will place him over everything he owns. But as for the dishonest servant who says to himself, “My master is taking his time,” and sets about beating his fellow servants and eating and drinking with drunkards, his master will come on a day he does not expect and at an hour he does not know. The master will cut him off and send him to the same fate as the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 24, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Jesus my Lord and Saviour may You find in me integrity, one who like St Bartholomew You found to be incapable of deceit. Let my yes be yes to glorify You Lord and my no be No to all forms of sin and temptation!

Let me live always in Your presence Lord and if it is Your will may I see Heaven laid open, with You and the angels of God ascending and descending. For it is Your glory I long to witness, and to be a witness of Your love for all.

Grant me a double share of Your Spirit Lord. Amen

Saint Bartholomew pray for us….

First reading

Apocalypse 21:9-14 ·

He showed me Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down from God out of heaven

The angel came to speak to me, and said, ‘Come here and I will show you the bride that the Lamb has married.’ In the spirit, he took me to the top of an enormous high mountain and showed me Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down from God out of heaven. It had all the radiant glory of God and glittered like some precious jewel of crystal-clear diamond. The walls of it were of a great height, and had twelve gates; at each of the twelve gates there was an angel, and over the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel; on the east there were three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. The city walls stood on twelve foundation stones, each one of which bore the name of one of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

Gospel

John 1:45-51

You will see heaven laid open, and the Son of Man

Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, the one about whom the prophets wrote: he is Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth.’ ‘From Nazareth?’ said Nathanael ‘Can anything good come from that place?’ ‘Come and see’ replied Philip. When Jesus saw Nathanael coming he said of him, ‘There is an Israelite who deserves the name, incapable of deceit.’ ‘How do you know me?’ said Nathanael. ‘Before Philip came to call you,’ said Jesus ‘I saw you under the fig tree.’ Nathanael answered, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are the King of Israel.’ Jesus replied, ‘You believe that just because I said: I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.’ And then he added ‘I tell you most solemnly, you will see heaven laid open and, above the Son of Man, the angels of God ascending and descending.’